Sharks in Dominican Republic

While sharks are uncommon in the Dominican Republic – the entire beaches of places like Punta Cana have coral reefs where large sharks rarely enter – they are not absent from the country’s waters. However, shark sightings are rare, and attacks are even rarer.

The most commonly seen species is the nurse shark, which can be found around the reefs of the Dominican Republic. Other sharks occasionally observed include the bull shark, the whale shark, and certain species of hammerhead and reef sharks.

List of the Different Types of Sharks in the Dominican Republic

Species Maximum


Blacktip Shark 5-8 feet Moderately aggressive
Blue Shark 6-11 feet Not aggressive
Bull Shark 7-12 feet Highly aggressive
Caribbean Reef Shark 8-9 feet Not aggressive
Great Hammerhead Shark 15-20 feet Highly aggressive
Lemon Shark 9-10 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
Thresher Shark 10-18 feet Not aggressive
Tiger Shark 10-14 feet Highly aggressive
Whale Shark 18-32 feet Not aggressive



Shark attacks rarely take place in the Dominican Republic. The most recent attack was on 12th February 2016 during a wading incident.


As shark sightings are becoming more infrequent in the Dominican Republic, it can be assumed that several of these species are now at risk.


Yes, there are places in Punta Cana where one can go snorkeling with nurse sharks.


Great white sharks have not been seen in the Dominican Republic.

Recommended Blog Posts

Famous Sharks