Sharks in Vanuatu

Sharks generally do not venture close to the beaches of Vanuatu. Still, quite a few species live in the ocean surrounding the country. Most shark sightings occur off the islands of Malekula and Santo, with common species including whitetip reef sharks, leopard sharks, silvertip sharks, and common thresher sharks.

List of the Different Types of Sharks in Vanuatu

Species Maximum Size Aggressiveness
Bigeye Thresher Shark 11-16 feet Not aggressive
Blackbelly Lantern Shark 1-1.5 feet Not aggressive
Blue Shark 6-11 feet Not aggressive
Bramble Shark 9.2-10 feet Not aggressive
Cookiecutter Shark 1.5-3.5 feet Not aggressive
Common Thresher Shark 12-18 feet Not aggressive
Galapagos Shark 9.8-12 ft Highly aggressive
Great White Shark 11-16 feet Highly aggressive
Leopard Shark 6-7 feet Not aggressive
Longsnout Dogfish 2.9-3.6 feet Not aggressive
Mandarin Dogfish 2.8-3.5 feet Not aggressive
Oceanic Whitetip Shark 10-13 feet Highly aggressive
Porbeagle Shark 6-12 feet Not aggressive
Shortfin Mako Shark 6.5-9.5 feet Highly aggressive
Sicklefin Lemon Shark 10-12 feet Moderately aggressive
Silky Shark 7-10 feet Highly aggressive
Silvertip Shark 6.6-9.8 feet Moderately aggressive
Whale Shark 18-32 feet Not aggressive
Whitetip Reef Shark 3-5.5 feet Moderately aggressive (only when provoked)



The last fatal shark attack in Vanuatu was in 2005. A nine-foot-long shark of an unidentified species attacked 7-year-old Alysha Margaret Webster. After this incident, there have not been any recorded instances of a shark attack in Vanuatu.


There are certain places in Vanuatu where one can go diving with sharks, but it is best to do so under supervision.


Great white sharks have been occasionally spotted close to Vanuatu; however, these sharks remain uncommon.

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