Sharks in Alabama

Alabama stands out because of its beautiful white sand, dreamy beaches, and warm waters that fill the bays and estuaries. No wonder several shark species call the waters of Alabama their home- some seasonal. At the same time, a few, like the finetooth, tiger, and hammerhead, are more common visitors here. In August 2022, a 10-12 foot long hammerhead was spotted swimming off the Orange Beach coast chasing stingrays.

Another common shark here is the bull shark, found along the beaches. Alabama’s record catch in 2015 was a bull shark weighing 336 pounds and 8 ounces caught after a 3-hour struggle. The record of the tiger shark surpasses the bull, with a 595-pound shark caught here in July 2022.

List of the Different Types of Sharks in Alabama

Species Maximum Size Aggressiveness
Atlantic Sharpnose Shark 2-4 feet Moderately aggressive
Blacktip Shark 5-8 feet Moderately aggressive
Bull Shark 7-12 feet Highly aggressive
Finetooth Shark 5-6 feet Not aggressive
Scalloped Hammerhead 9-12 feet Moderately aggressive
Tiger Shark 10-14 feet Highly aggressive
Blacknose Shark 3-5 feet Not aggressive
Bonnethead Shark 4-5 feet Not aggressive
Dusky Shark 9 -12 feet Not aggressive (until provoked)
Great Hammerhead Shark 15-20 feet Highly aggressive
Lemon Shark 9-10 feet Not aggressive
Shortfin Mako Shark 6.5-9.5 feet Highly aggressive
Sandbar Shark 5.5-8.5 feet Not aggressive
Silky Shark 7-10 feet Highly aggressive
Nurse Shark 7-8 feet Not aggressive
Gulper Shark 2.5-3 feet Not aggressive
Gulf Smoothound 3.5-4.5 feet Not aggressive
Sand Tiger Shark 7-10 feet Not aggressive (due to their small mouths)
Spinner Shark 7-8 feet Not aggressive



In 2021, the OCEARCH pinged two great whites along the Gulf Shore. Edith, a female great white, weighed 1185 pounds and measured around 11 feet 8 inches. The other great white, Cabot, was 533 pounds and 9 feet 8 inches. They spotted a third shark with great whites, a tiger shark SouthJaw lighter than the other two, just 200 pounds and 5 inches.


Shark attacks are rare in Alabama. Yet, when speaking about the same, it is essential to mention the one that occurred in 2001. 47-year-old Chuck Anderson was struck by a 6-foot-long bull shark weighing around 180 pounds. Though he survived the bite, he lost his right arm in the accident.

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