Are there sharks in the Great Barrier Reef?

Are there sharks in the Great Barrier Reef?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 01/23/2019

Reading time: 2 mins

Australia is known to have some dangerous animals roaming around. But one of the most notorious and most fearsome creatures has got to be the sharks.

Great Barrier Reef Sharks

With countless shark attacks, many locals and tourists are afraid to step into the pristine waters for fear of a shark encounter.

About Australian Sharks

Australia has the highest diversity of sharks in the entire world. Around 180 of the 509 known shark species are roaming our waters. However, the majority of the species are non-threatening to humans. Only the larger sharks such as great whites and tiger sharks occasionally attacking humans.

Despite their bad reputation, these creatures are truly fascinating. Scientists have estimated that sharks first appeared in the ocean around 455 million years ago.

The likelihood of a Shark Attack

Shark Great Barrier Reef

Although it is true that there have been some unlucky people who have come face to face with these dangerous creatures, statistically speaking it is quite rare to see one in person. It is estimated that more people die each year from mosquitos, car accidents, and even vending machines compared to a shark attack. With the likelihood of getting attacked and killed by a shark being 1 in 3,748,067.

Many Australians have spent their entire life swimming the deep waters and surfing the waves without ever encountering a shark. The media loves a good story, and so the publicity of shark attacks suggesting attacks are on the rise with these dangerous creatures just waiting at the shore for their next human snack. Sharks are merely wild animals who are doing their natural reaction to a situation. With attacks occurring due to a shark’s confusion, territory, or simply hunger.

How to avoid them

If you are still worried about going into the Australian waters, simply follow our simple rules and you will be a lot safer when going to the Australian beaches. Be sure to swim between the flags at patrolled beaches. Lifeguards monitor the water throughout the day for danger. Being the shallow waters help, as deeper waters may have more risk. We recommend swimming in a group, as swimming alone makes you vulnerable for attacks. If you are on a boat, make sure to always keep a lookout for the guides who will be regularly checking the water for danger. If there are any sightings, they will call everyone into the boat immediately.

Related article: Which is the best Great Barrier Reef Tour?

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.