Alaska isn’t a favorable place for sharks to live, as its chilling waters make it difficult for most fish to survive. Of the three shark species found here, the salmon shark inhabiting the Prince William Sound off the Gulf of Alaska is the most familiar. Alaska’s salmon fisheries commonly catch them. They resemble the great white shark – a miniature version of the mighty great white. The Pacific sleeper shark, the biggest of the three, is sluggish and rarely seen since it is difficult to catch. The 3-feet long spiny dogfish, the smallest, is common around the Yakutat area.
Dr. Ken Goldman of the Alaskan Department of Fish and Game has had expertise in researching shark species in Alaska for several decades. He mentions that sharks have called Alaskan waters their home for over 10 million years. Yet, little is known about them due to the lack of a proper population estimate.
List of the Different Types of Sharks in Alaska
|Pacific Sleeper Shark||12-15 feet||Not aggressive|
|Spiny Dogfish||2.5-3.5 feet||Not aggressive (due to their small size)|
|Salmon Shark||8-10 feet||Not aggressive|
|Bluntnose Sixgill Shark||15-20 feet||Moderately aggressive (rarely target humans, reports of just one provoked attack)|
|Great White Shark||11-16 feet||Highly aggressive|
|Blue Shark||6-11 feet||Not aggressive|
|Basking Shark||23-30 feet||Not aggressive|
|Thresher Shark||10-18 feet||Not aggressive|