Sharks in Maryland

The waters of Maryland have more than 20 shark species. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources enlists a few shark species present in abundance on the shoreline from summer to early fall, including the sandbar shark, dusky shark, scalloped hammerhead, dusky, tiger shark, smooth dogfish, and Atlantic sharpnose.

Maryland doesn’t rank too high when it comes to shark attacks. In a 2021 incident in Ocean City, a 12-year-old girl from Pennsylvania was bitten in her leg by a shark. She was given 42 stitches, and according to wildlife officials, the species responsible for the bite was probably a sandbar shark.

List of the Different Types of Sharks in Maryland

Species Maximum Size Aggressiveness
Spiny Dogfish 2.5-3.5 feet Not aggressive (due to their small size)
Sandbar Shark 5.5-8.5 feet Not aggressive
Bull Shark 7-12 feet Highly aggressive
Sand Tiger Shark 7-10 feet Not aggressive (due to their small mouths)
Smooth Dogfish 4-5 feet Not aggressive (due to their blunt teeth)
Blacktip Shark 5-8 feet Moderately aggressive
Atlantic Sharpnose Shark 2-4 feet Moderately aggressive
Spinner Shark 7 -8 feet Not aggressive
Scalloped Hammerhead Shark 9-12 feet Moderately aggressive
Tiger Shark 10-14 feet Highly aggressive
Smooth Hammerhead Shark 8-12 feet Not aggressive (but potentially dangerous)
Bonnethead Shark 4-5 feet Not aggressive
Blacknose Shark 3-5 feet Not aggressive
Blue Shark 6-11 feet Not aggressive
Common Thresher Shark 12-18 feet Not aggressive
Finetooth Shark 5-6 feet Not aggressive
Oceanic Whitetip Shark 10-13 feet Highly Aggressive
Porbeagle Shark 6-12 feet Not aggressive
Lemon Shark 9-10 feet Not aggressive
Nurse Shark 7-8 feet Not aggressive
Great Hammerhead 15-20 feet Highly aggressive
Atlantic Angel Shark 3-4 feet Moderately aggressive

FAQs

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The great whites aren’t regular here but are sighted occasionally. The latest sighting was on the 1st of July 2022 when OCEARCH tagged a 12-foot great white Scot, weighing around 1600 pounds, to the south of Ocean City at 9 in the morning. In June 2021, a 12-foot great white was spotted during the 3rd day of the Mako Mania Shark Tournament held at Bahia Marina. Captain Brandon Miller and his team had a close encounter with the shark that didn’t stay around long and swam away.

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The National Aquarium is one of the places where visitors can have a unique experience of diving with sharks. Each cage accommodates six divers, and the total time for diving is around 40 minutes. 

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The Calvert Cliffs region in Maryland’s Calvert County is one of the places where one could find fossilized shark teeth.

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