Sharks in Georgia

The coastal waters of Georgia are home to quite a number of sharks. While some are permanent offshore residents, a few species migrate to the estuaries or water near the shores when migrating or giving birth to their young. The common inhabitants are the Atlantic sharpnose, blacktip, blacknose, and bonnethead sharks. Like most other US states, Georgia also witnesses a spike in shark population during summer.

Shark attacks aren’t a regular phenomenon here. According to the International Shark Attack File’s records, there have been 15 unprovoked bites since 1837. However, in 2021 the state witnessed two back-to-back attacks in a week, which seems quite unusual in an area where shark bites are uncommon. One of the two incidents occurred in Tybee Island, where a shark bit a surfing instructor when he was in the middle of his class.

List of the Different Types of Sharks in Georgia

Species Maximum Size Aggressiveness
Atlantic Sharpnose Shark 2-4 feet Moderately aggressive
Blacktip Shark 5-8 feet Moderately aggressive
Lemon Shark 9-10 feet Not aggressive
Bull Shark 7-12 feet Highly aggressive
Bonnethead Shark 4-5 feet Not aggressive
Great White Shark 11-16 feet Highly aggressive
Tiger Shark 10-14 feet Highly aggressive
Blacknose Shark 3-5 feet Not aggressive
Great Hammerhead 15-20 feet Highly aggressive
Sand Tiger Shark 7-10 feet Not aggressive (due to their small mouths)
Smooth Hammerhead Shark 8-12 feet Not aggressive (but potentially dangerous)
Scalloped Hammerhead Shark 9-12 feet Moderately aggressive
Nurse Shark 18-32 feet Not aggressive
Sandbar Shark 5.5-8.5 feet Not aggressive
Dusky Shark 9 -12 feet Not aggressive (until provoked)
Spinner Shark 7 -8 feet Not aggressive
Thresher Shark 10-18 feet Not aggressive
Finetooth Shark 5-6 feet Not aggressive

FAQs

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Georgia Aquarium is the only location in the United States where visitors can see whale sharks and swim with them. 

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Great white sharks have been spotted in Georgia now and then. In 2022 a great white Cabot measuring 10 feet and weighing around 533 pounds was tagged along Georgia’s coast. Breton, 13 feet in height, and about 1500 pounds in weight was also tracked near Tybee Island.

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