Sharks in Brazil

Brazil is home to a wide variety of sharks and is ranked 9th throughout the world when it comes to shark attacks. The most dangerous species in the waters of Brazil include the tiger shark, the great white shark, and the bull shark. The bull shark is especially noteworthy as it often swims into freshwater.

Most of these take place in the state of Pernambuco. However, it is worth noting that fatalities are rare, and if a shark is sighted in the ocean adjacent to a beach, one should not go swimming that day.

List of the Different Types of Sharks in Brazil

Species Maximum Size Aggressiveness
Angel Shark 4-7 feet Moderately aggressive
Basking Shark 23-30 feet Not aggressive
Blue Shark 6-11 feet Not aggressive
Common Thresher Shark 12-18 feet Not aggressive
Great White Shark 11-16 feet Highly aggressive
Porbeagle Shark 6-12 feet Not aggressive
School Shark 6-7 feet Not aggressive
Shortfin Mako Shark 6.5-9.5 feet Highly aggressive
Small-spotted Catshark 1.5-3 feet Not aggressive
Smooth Hammerhead Shark 8-12 feet Not aggressive (but are potentially dangerous)
Spiny Dogfish 2.5-3.5 feet Not aggressive (due to their small size)
Starry Smooth-hound 4-4.7 feet Not aggressive



An unusual series of shark attacks occurred off Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil, from September 1992 to September 2006. There were a total of 47 incidents, 17 of which were fatal.


Yes, bull sharks have been spotted in saltwater habitats like the Atlantic and freshwater ones like the Amazon.


Yes, in places like Fernando de Noronha on the country’s eastern coast.


While rare, great whites can sometimes be seen in Brazilian waters.

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