Mediterranean Destinations

are there sharks in Mediterranean Sea in Turkey?

Are there sharks in the Mediterranean in Turkey

Are there sharks in Mediterranean Sea? The Coasts of Turkey are very popular among tourists from all countries. The Turkish coastline is 8,333 km long and is bordered by four different seas: the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, the Aegean Sea, and the Marmara Sea, being connected by the Straits of Dardanelles and Bosporus. With its warm climate, small seasonal variations in temperature and clean waters it has all the prerequisites for the development of a rich underwater flora and fauna. Although as good as it sounds not all of its habitants are equally peaceful. Many tourists wonder if there are sharks in the Mediterranean Sea in Turkey and how to avoid meeting them while relaxing on it’s astonishing beaches.

Sharks of the Mediterranean Sea

The Mediterranean coast is always in high demand among tourists. There are many famous locations to visit such as:

  • Antalya
  • Belek
  • Kemer
  • Alanya
  • Side

Most of these magnificent beaches have an environmental award called “Blue Flag” for the cleanliness of these beaches and the water quality, as well as the health and diversity of the underwater world which also includes a small number of predatory species. Sharks are also inhabitants of these warm waters. While their character is far from peaceful, without provocation by humans they rarely attack. They have a unique sense of smell and are able to smell blood at a distance of several kilometers. They can move very quickly and have an impressive stock of sharp teeth. These sharks differ in size, level of aggressiveness, diets and habits. In total, there are 47 species of sharks near the shores of the Mediterranean Sea in Turkey. Among them, 15 are considered dangerous to humans, but they very rarely come close enough to the shore to get in contact with humans. And 16 of them can grow over 3 meters in size.

Among these 47 species the most often observers see in the Mediterranean Sea are sand sharks. They do not have much aggression. They try to keep away from the shore and are not known to attack humans. Nevertheless if a person were to provoke a sand shark, it may retaliate in defense. They are, most of the time, not aggressive, but they tend to enjoy harassing divers who are spearfishing. Also their jaws are designed for grabbing, so they can’t inflict any life-threatening injuries. Adult specimens can reach 350 kg and grow much longer than 3 meters. Their diet is heavily based on fish and they will not give up on crabs, shrimps and mollusks.

Tiger sharks are known for its cunning and nasty character. It is not the largest, but quite the bloodthirsty one. It is very easy to provoke it to attack but as stated before they tend to keep away from shores so they are hard to come by.

The big white sharks is considered the most dangerous for humans. According to historians, these species are so ancient that they coexisted with the dinosaurs, having successfully survived all of the global cataclysms in their respective water column. They can grow up to 4-6 meters and gain weight up to 3 tons. The average life expectancy of a big white shark is about 65-70 years. They do live in the Mediterranean but the sightings are so rare that it is difficult to confirm the extent of their habitation. While single cases of the big white and tiger sharks appearance have been recorded, there is no information about any attacks on people.

Sharks in the Aegean Sea

The species that are found in the Aegean Sea do not attack people. They seek open and deep waters to stay away from the noisy beaches and to avoid meeting with people. At a significant distance from the shore you can encounter sand sharks. They come after the shoals of fish and also quickly disappear after a successful hunt. The popular beach areas of Bodrum and Marmaris are also considered safe. The last appearance of sharks in large numbers at these areas were recorded almost 30 years ago while the last shark attack in the Mediterranean happened in 1989.

So wherever you are visiting in the beautiful Mediterranean coast of Turkey, you can be assured that you will be safe from any shark attacks.

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