Sharks in Cuba

Out of the 500 species of sharks worldwide, nearly 20% swim in the waters around Cuba. These include the basking shark, the bull shark, the Caribbean reef shark, and the Cuban dogfish.

List of the Different Types of Sharks in Cuba

Species Maximum


Basking Shark 23-30 feet Not aggressive
Bigeye Thresher Shark 11-16 feet Not aggressive
Blacknose Shark 3-5 feet Not aggressive
Blacktip Shark 5-8 feet Moderately aggressive
Bull Shark 7-12 feet Highly aggressive
Caribbean Reef Shark 8-9 feet Not aggressive
Common Thresher Shark 12-18 feet Not aggressive
Cuban Dogfish 2.5-3.6 feet Not aggressive
Dusky Shark 9 -12 feet Not aggressive (until provoked)
Great Hammerhead Shark 15-20 feet Highly aggressive
Great White Shark 11-16 feet Highly aggressive
Longfin Mako Shark 12-14 feet Highly aggressive
Night Shark 5-6 feet Not aggressive
Nurse Shark 7-8 feet Not aggressive
Oceanic Whitetip Shark 10-13 feet Highly aggressive
Scalloped Hammerhead Shark 9-12 feet Moderately aggressive
Shortfin Mako Shark 6.5-9.5 feet Highly aggressive
Silky Shark 7-10 feet Highly aggressive
Spiny Dogfish 2.5-3.5 feet Not aggressive (due to their small size)
Whale Shark 18-32 feet Not aggressive



There have been several shark attacks over the years in Cuba. The most recent one was in 2017 when a 22-year-old swimmer was fatally attacked at Guardalavaca Beach.


Due to the proximity to the Caribbean, sharks occasionally show up close to Cuban beaches. The best way to avoid an unwanted encounter is not to go swimming after dark when sharks are most active.


There are places like Playa Santa Lucia, where tourists can go diving under the watchful eye of a guide and get up close with even dangerous species like the bull shark.


Yes, great whites are often seen around Cuba. The biggest specimen ever seen was caught in the mid-1940s, which weighed about 7100 lbs and was 21 feet long.

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