Sharks in the Philippines

The diversity of shark species in the Philippines is quite staggering. Even a specimen of the rarely-seen megamouth shark once washed ashore in a Philippine village. More common species include the whitetip reef shark, the silvertip shark, the brownbanded bamboo shark, the sicklefin lemon shark, and the shortnose spurdog.

Sharks in Philippines

List of the Different Types of Sharks in the Philippines

Species Maximum Size Aggressiveness
Big Eye Thresher Shark 11-16 feet Not aggressive
Blacktip Reef Shark 3-4 feet Moderately aggressive (if provoked)
Blue Shark 6-11 feet Not aggressive
Borneo Shark 2-2.1 feet Not aggressive
Broadfin Shark 5.7-5.74 feet Not aggressive
Brownbanded Bamboo Shark 3.3-3.41 feet Not aggressive
Bull Shark 7-12 feet Highly aggressive
Common Thresher Shark 12-18 feet Not aggressive
Great Hammerhead Shark 15-20 feet Highly aggressive
Great White Shark 11-16 feet Highly aggressive
Gray Reef Shark 4-5 feet Highly aggressive
Hooktooth Shark 2.2-3.3 feet Not aggressive
Leafscale Gulper Shark 5-5.2 feet Not aggressive
Leopard Shark 6-7 feet Not aggressive
Longfin Mako Shark 12-14 feet Highly aggressive
Megamouth Shark 13-18 feet Not aggressive
Oceanic Whitetip Shark 5-8 feet Highly aggressive
Pelagic Thresher Shark 13-18 feet Not aggressive
Pondicherry Shark 3-3.3 feet Not aggressive
Sand Tiger Shark 7-10 feet Not aggressive (due to their small mouths)
Shortfin Mako Shark 6.5-9.5 feet Highly aggressive
Sicklefin Lemon Shark 10-12 feet Moderately aggressive
Silvertip Shark 6.6-9.8 feet Moderately aggressive
Snaggletooth Shark 7.8-7.9 feet Not aggressive
Speckled Catshark 1.5-1.6 feet Not aggressive
Spot-tail Shark 5-5.3 feet Not aggressive
Swell Shark 2.5 – 4.5 feet Not aggressive
Tawny Nurse Shark 9.6-10 feet Not aggressive
Tiger Shark 10-14 feet Highly aggressive
Whale Shark 18-32 feet Not aggressive
Whitefin Topeshark 3-3.14 feet Not aggressive
Whitetip Reef Shark 3-5.5 feet Moderately aggressive (only when provoked)

Recent Cases of Shark Attacks in Philippines >>



There have been several shark attacks in the Philippines, with the most recent incident in 2013. On March 10, 2013, Alvin Lovido & John Paul Mangaoang were swimming to shore on floatation devices after their boat’s engine stopped working. They were attacked by a series of “small sharks”, leading to non-fatal leg injuries.


While unusual, great whites are seen occasionally in the Philippines.


There are places in the Philippines – most notably Oslob – where people can interact with whale sharks. However, the ethicality of these interactions is constantly being debated.


Tiger sharks have become very rare in the Philippines. The only place where they are seen on a regular basis is the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park.

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