Sharks in New Zealand

New Zealand is home to various species of sharks, or mangō, as they are known in Maori. These include well-known specimens like blue sharks, thresher sharks, and great whites but also species that are endemic to the island nation. Examples include McMillan’s and New Zealand catsharks.

List of the Different Types of Sharks in New Zealand

Species Maximum

Size

Aggressiveness
Basking Shark 23-30 feet Not aggressive
Bigeye Thresher Shark 11-16 feet Not aggressive
Blackbelly Lantern Shark 1-1.5 feet Not aggressive
Blue Shark 6-11 feet Not aggressive
Bluntnose Sixgill Shark 15-20 feet Moderately aggressive (rarely targets humans, reports of just one provoked attack)
Bramble Shark 9.2-10 feet Not aggressive
Broadnose Sevengill Shark 3.5-7.5 feet Not aggressive (unless caught)
Cookiecutter Shark 1.5-3.5 feet Not aggressive
Copper Shark 11-12 feet Not aggressive
Frilled Shark 5.6-6.6 feet Not aggressive
Galapagos Shark 9.8-12 ft Highly aggressive
Goblin Shark 7-8 feet Not aggressive
Great White Shark 11-16 feet Highly aggressive
Kitefin Shark 3-5 feet Not aggressive
Knifetooth Dogfish 3.4-3.6 feet Not aggressive
Largespine Velvet Dogfish 2-2.2 feet Not aggressive
Leafscale Gulper Shark 5-5.2 feet Not aggressive
Little Sleeper Shark 4.6-4.7 feet Not aggressive
Longnose Velvet Dogfish 2.1-3.4 feet Not aggressive
Longsnout Dogfish 2.9-3.6 feet Not aggressive
Mandarin Dogfish 2.8-3.5 feet Not aggressive
McMillan’s Catshark 1.7-1.8 feet Not aggressive
Moller’s Lanternshark 1.2-1.5 feet Not aggressive
New Zealand Catshark 1.1-1.4 feet Not aggressive
Oceanic Whitetip Shark 10-13 feet Highly aggressive
Pacific Sleeper Shark 12-15 feet Not aggressive
Plunket Shark 4-4.2 feet Not aggressive
Porbeagle Shark 6-12 feet Not aggressive
Port Jackson Shark 5-5.5 feet Not aggressive
Portuguese Dogfish 3-3.3 feet Not aggressive
Prickly Dogfish 1.9-2.4 feet Not aggressive
Prickly Shark 13-14 feet Not aggressive
Pygmy Shark 1-2 feet Not aggressive
School Shark 6-7 feet Not aggressive
Sharpnose Sevengill Shark 2-4.6 feet Moderately aggressive
Shortfin Mako Shark 6.5-9.5 feet Highly aggressive
Silky Shark 7-10 feet Highly aggressive
Slender Smooth-hound 3-3.6 feet Not aggressive
Small-spotted Catshark 1.5-3 feet Not aggressive
Smalltooth Sand Tiger Shark 12-14 feet Not aggressive
Smooth Hammerhead Shark 8-12 feet Not aggressive (but are potentially dangerous)
Southern Lanternshark 0.75-0.9 feet Not aggressive
Spiny Dogfish 2.5-3.5 feet Not aggressive (due to their small size)
Spotted Estuary Smooth-hound 4.1-5 feet Not aggressive
Thresher Shark 10-18 feet Not aggressive
Tiger Shark 10-14 feet Highly aggressive
Whale Shark 18-32 feet Not aggressive

FAQs

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While rare, shark attacks do occur in the waters of New Zealand. The most recent victim was 19-year-old Kaelah Marlow, who would later succumb to her injuries.

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The kitefin shark, the blackbelly lanternshark, the Moller’s lanternshark, and the southern lanternshark.

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Yes, but only with the help of the company Bluff.

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Yes, and their population appears to be rising in recent times.

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Stewart Island is home to some of the largest great white specimens ever recorded.

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A specimen caught in 1900 at Port Chalmers was recorded at 18 feet, most likely an overestimation.

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No, bull sharks do not live in New Zealand.

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