Sharks in South Korea

While sharks have always been present in South Korea’s waters, thanks to climate changes and other reasons, they have started to swim closer to human-populated areas. This includes the fierce great white – widely regarded as one of the deadliest animals on the planet.

However, the number of attacks on humans is quite rare in South Korea, as humans are not a good food source for sharks. Bites tend to be exploratory or due to a case of mistaken identity, not as a result of predation or malice.

List of the Different Types of Sharks in South Korea

Species Maximum Size Aggressiveness
Basking Shark 23-30 feet Not aggressive
Blackspotted Catshark 1.5-1.6 feet Not aggressive
Common Thresher Shark 12-18 feet Not aggressive
Great White Shark 11-16 feet Highly aggressive
Shortfin Mako Shark 6.5-9.5 feet Highly aggressive
Smooth Hammerhead Shark
Spiny Dogfish 2.5-3.5 feet Not aggressive (due to their small size)
Whale Shark 18-32 feet Not aggressive



So far, there have been only eight shark attacks in South Korea. However, six of those have been fatal, with the most recent one in 2010 on US student Jaylee Pierce who survived the bite with two minor lacerations.


Great white sharks have been seen around South Korea. Still, they nowadays are slightly more familiar with dead great whites washing up on shore or fishers catching them at regular intervals.

Recommended Blog Posts

Famous Sharks