Sharks in the Great Barrier Reef

Guest Post: How to avoid shark attacks in the Whitsunday Islands among the types of different sharks seen at the waters around Airlie Beach is the shovel nose shark named for the natural shovel shape of its upper body. But there are many other recorded sightings of the bull nose to tiger and a number of reef sharks. It is possible the great white shark, the most dangerous shark to humans, may pass by in the deeper waters past the continental shelf, but is more often seen from the Sunshine coast and further south as it prefers the colder waters.

Varieties of Sharks in the waters around Airlie Beach

So, how many different species of sharks swim in the Whitsuday Islands? The quantities are unclear, although there are obviously more than a dozen from the bottom feeding cat shark to the larger and more dangerous tiger shark. The following list names some of the more commonly seen sharks varieties living in the area:

  • White Tip Reef Shark
  • Grey Reef Shark
  • Oceanic Silver-tip shark
  • Hammerhead Shark
  • Shovel Nosed Shark
  • Bull Shark
  • Cat Shark
  • Tiger Shark
  • Reef Sharks

The white tip reef shark; with its slender body and short, wide head, only measures in at an average of 5 feet 2 inches. It swims close to the floor of the ocean in clear waters, making the Great Barrier Reef an ideal environment for the Reef Shark. The shark is well known for its nightly hunt after sleeping in caves during the day. It would be a rare experience for the white tip reef shark to instigate an assault on man. The only natural difference on the Black Tip Reef Shark is the black tip of the fin as compared to the white tip. The black tip reef sharks stays in shallow waters and is considerably smaller than the white tip. Sharks in the waters around Airlie Beach Dangerous to Humans All sharks are obvious predators staying beneath the surface hunting for the next prey but there are not many dangerous species. There are a few that, because of their size, power and massive jaws that a diver needs to be aware of such as the tiger, bull, bronze whaler, mako and hammerhead sharks. Attacks on us are very rare in the waters around Airlie Beach. It is said the tiger shark is the most dangerous but it is a night feeder and heads to deeper waters during the day.

There are places along the coast providing dive tours for anyone that would like to see the waters around Airlie Beach. Some tours are especially aimed at spotting one of the sharks of the Great Barrier Reef. At the Whitsuday Islands going with an skilled tour operator reduces the risks of being in the water and increases the chances of seeing some magnificient tropical fish, live coral and sharks.

The Dangerous Creatures series and this article about sharks of the Great Barrier Reef Series has been put together by Toscana Village Resort, Airlie Beach Accommodation.

This information was provided by and the copyright is owned by the original owner.

Every now and then I see interests me other then health information. I was a Marine Biology major in undergrad and a dive instructor in an earlier part of my life and love everything water and marine related just thought this post was cool.  At Mahler Family Chiropractic Center we love to bring you useful information. This post has been approved by Dr. Mahler.

If you have a shark story post it below


One thought on “Sharks in the Great Barrier Reef

  1. I would like to start off the comments at the age of ten I saw my first shark in the wild. It was off the cost of South Carolina and long before I dreamed of being a chiropractor in Kingston and Wilkes Barre PA. It was swimming under the inter-tube my brother and I were riding on, my brother was 9 at the time, and I told him not to panic and drift in with the tub. He panicked and jumped into the water to swim in. It took a day for me to get the courage to get back in the water and on that day is when I had my brush with a shark. Quite literally it rammed me in the back and scraped up my back. as you can now guess I didn’t taste good since sharks taste with there noses. I made it to shore without further incident but a lot of excitement for a 10 year old plus at 10 a six foot shark looks pretty big.

    Now what is your story?

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