Sharks in Ecuador

Ecuador is home to around 40 shark species, making it the nation with the highest number of sharks, especially in the Galapagos region. Despite this, human-shark interactions are infrequent and so far have been non-fatal.

The sharks commonly seen in Ecuador’s waters are the dusky shark, three species of hammerhead – great, scalloped, and scoophead, and three species of reef shark – blacktip, gray, and whitetip.

List of the Different Types of Sharks in Ecuador

Species Maximum Size Aggressiveness
Bigeye Thresher Shark 11-16 feet Not aggressive
Blacktip Shark 5-8 feet Moderately aggressive
Blacktip Reef Shark 3-4 feet Moderately aggressive (if provoked)
Blue Shark 6-11 feet Not aggressive
Bonnethead Shark 4-5 feet Not aggressive
Brown Smooth-hound 1.5-2.5 feet Not aggressive
Bull Shark 7-12 feet Highly aggressive
Crocodile Shark 2.5-4 feet Not aggressive
Dusky Shark 9 -12 feet Not aggressive (until provoked)
Galapagos Shark 9.8-12 feet Highly aggressive
Galapagos Bullhead Shark 3.5-3.6 feet Not aggressive
Great Hammerhead Shark 15-20 feet Highly aggressive
Gray Reef Shark 4-5 feet Highly aggressive
Lemon Shark 9-10 feet Not aggressive
Longfin Mako Shark 12-14 feet Highly aggressive
Mexican Horn Shark 3-5 feet Not aggressive (unless provoked)
Nurse Shark 7-8 feet Not aggressive
Oceanic Whitetip Shark 10-13 feet Highly aggressive
Pacific Angel Shark 4-5 feet Not aggressive
Pacific Sharpnose Shark 3.14-4.24 feet Not aggressive
Pelagic Thresher Shark 13-18 feet Not aggressive
Scalloped Hammerhead Shark 9-12 feet Moderately aggressive
Scoophead Hammerhead Shark 2.95-4.92 feet Not aggressive
Sharptooth Smooth-hound 2-2.1 feet Not aggressive
Shortfin Mako Shark 6.5-9.5 feet Highly aggressive
Sicklefin Smooth-hound 5-5.7 feet Not aggressive
Silky Shark 7-10 feet Highly aggressive
Smalltail Shark 3.5-4.5 feet Not aggressive
Smooth Hammerhead Shark 8-12 feet Not aggressive (but are potentially dangerous)
Tiger Shark 10-14 feet Highly aggressive
Whale Shark 18-32 feet Not aggressive
Whitenose Shark 4.8-4.92 feet Not aggressive
Whitetip Reef Shark 3-5.5 feet Moderately aggressive (only when provoked)

FAQs

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While sightings occur at a regular frequency, there have only been 11 recorded unprovoked shark attacks. All of these were non-fatal.

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Yes, there are several spots where trained divers accompany you as you go snorkeling or diving with sharks.

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