Sharks in the Cayman Islands

There are eight known species of sharks in the Cayman Islands. While none of them are ubiquitous in tourist spots, the ones that are closest to shore are the blacktip shark, the lemon shark, the nurse shark, and the Caribbean reef shark. The other species found in deeper waters include the great hammerhead, the oceanic whitetip shark, the silky shark, and the tiger shark.

List of the Different Types of Sharks in the Cayman Islands

Species Maximum Size Aggressiveness
Blacktip Shark 5-8 feet Moderately 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
Silky Shark 7-10 feet Highly aggressive
Tiger Shark 10-14 feet Highly aggressive



There has been only one recorded shark attack in the Cayman Islands. 57-year-old Lea Ann Hughes and her husband had gone diving in the Grand Cayman, where they encountered two Caribbean reef sharks. Suddenly the sharks began to display erratic behavior and attempted to charge them. Thankfully, the sharks left after a brief struggle, and neither of the two suffered any injury.


Sharks in the Cayman Islands are protected as part of the National Conservation Law under a series of Marine Parks.


Yes, there are options to go swimming and scuba diving with sharks in the Cayman Islands.


There haven’t been any great white sightings in the Cayman Islands.

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