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Are there sharks in the Mediterranean Sea in Turkey?

Turkish resorts are very popular among tourists from different countries. The country’s coastline is washed by the Black, Mediterranean, Aegean, and Marmara Seas. The Dardanelles and Bosporus Straits are also rich in water. The warm climate and small seasonal temperature variations were prerequisites for the development of rich flora and fauna. Not all of its representatives are equally peaceful. Many tourists are interested in whether there are sharks in the Mediterranean Sea in Turkey and how to avoid meeting with them, resting on the famous beaches.

Sharks of the Mediterranean Sea

It is the Mediterranean coast is in high demand among tourists. There are such famous resorts as:

  • Antalya;
  • Belek;
  • Kemer;
  • Alanya;
  • Side.

Magnificent beaches in most have the ecological award “Blue Flag” for purity and preservation of the diversity of the underwater world, including a few predators. Sharks also belong to the original inhabitants of warm waters, have far from peaceful nature, but without provocation from humans are rarely attacked. They have a unique sense of smell, can smell blood from a distance of several kilometers, are very fast-moving and have an impressive stock of sharp as needles teeth.

White Shark
The white shark is considered the most dangerous.

Predators differ in size, level of aggressiveness, diet, and habits. In total, there are 47 species in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Turkey. Of these, 15 are considered dangerous to humans, but very rarely come close to the shore, 16 species grow over 3 meters.

  1. Sand sharks were most often spotted by observers in the Mediterranean Sea. They do not have much aggressiveness, trying to stay away from the shore. Their jaws are designed to grip, so they do not cause life-threatening injuries. Adult specimens reach 350 kg and grow considerably longer than 3 meters. They practically do not attack humans, preferring the fish diet. They will not refuse crabs, shrimp, clams.
  2. The tiger shark is known for its cunning and vile character. It is not the largest, but it is quite bloodthirsty. It is very easy to provoke her to attack. The good thing is that as a habitat it prefers coral reefs and deep water. It got its name because of the spots and stripes on the surface of the body, which are clearly visible in young individuals and almost disappear in adults. It eats everything in its sight, changes about 24,000 teeth in its lifetime, and ranks as one of the most common on the planet.
  3. The great white shark is considered the most dangerous to humans. According to historians, the species is so ancient that it co-existed with the dinosaurs, successfully surviving all global cataclysms in the water column. It grows up to 4-6 meters and can weigh up to 3 tons. The average life expectancy is 65-70 years. The shark is named white for the coloring of its belly. The peculiarity of the raptor lies in the structure of the skeleton. It is all made up of cartilage, with no bone tissue. The thickness of the skin gives it almost complete invulnerability, as it is 7 times denser than a bull’s skin. With a speed of up to 40 km/h, it is very maneuverable and can literally turn around on the spot while driving. The jaws are designed to tear apart prey and contain about 300 teeth. It appears very rarely off the coast of Turkey, with its approach declared the highest level of danger. Usually it does not linger, going back to the depths.
  4. The bovine does not have a meek disposition either; it has more than half of its attacks on humans to its credit. It has powerful jaws, dagger-like teeth and a high degree of aggression. It is equally comfortable in salt and fresh water. Known for its unpredictable behavior and low susceptibility to pain. The most frequent cases of its appearance are registered in China, India, Australia. Likes muddy water, so swimming after storms or heavy rains in its habitat is not recommended. Predators rarely, but appear on the coast of Turkey, for their movement is monitored and special services try to scare them off in advance from the resort areas.
  5. The mako shark is quite large, with a body shape reminiscent of a torpedo. It is swift in its movements and can develop maximum acceleration in a fraction of a second, rushing at prey. Among the sharks that live in the Mediterranean Sea in Turkey, it is considered quite dangerous. Saber-shaped teeth are very large, arranged with a bend inside. Can attack divers and swimmers. Added to the sensitive sense of smell is a subtle sensitivity to strong emotions, which also lures the shark to shore. Fortunately, near Turkish resorts they are almost absent, the facts about the appearance of predators are scarce and scattered.

To the question of whether there are sharks in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Turkey, the answer is yes with a little clarification. There are very few recorded cases of attacks and they vary greatly in timing. Generally, the appearance of predators is seasonal, when they follow migrating schools of fish.

Sharks in the Aegean Sea

The species that live in this sea do not attack humans. They tend to stay away from noisy beaches and shy away from human encounters. At a considerable distance from the shore you can see sand sharks. They come after schools of fish and also quickly disappear after a successful hunt. The beach area of Bodrum and Marmaris is considered safe. The last appearance of sharks in large numbers was recorded almost 30 years ago.

Hammer Shark
The hammerhead shark can be very dangerous.

Fish abundance in the Aegean Sea is not observed, despite the clean and warm water. The sharks are in transit here, swimming to more abundant places.

So, occasionally in deep water and away from the shore are found:

  • Katran;
  • European;
  • fox;
  • six-gill;
  • sea angel;
  • lemon;
  • narrow-toothed;
  • sandy;
  • blue;
  • hammerhead shark.

Single cases of white and tiger have been recorded. There is no information about attacks on humans.

Sharks in the Sea of Marmara

The Sea of Marmara belongs to the inland seas, characterized by its modest size, maximum isolation and a small list of inhabitants. It is considered the safest from the invasion of formidable predators, including sharks. They are not seen there as permanent residents.

A single case occurred in 2016, when a large individual, reaching 450 kg, was accidentally caught. According to scientists, it swam by accident while chasing a school of fish. Rest and swim in the coastal strip is perfectly safe.

Black Sea sharks

Sharks in the Black Sea are represented by the catfish and the cat shark. There are no bigger ones, except for the occasional swimmer, in the water area. Catriona is not to be feared and even sympathized with. The fish has become an object of sport fishing, it is valued by cooks, preparing from this representative of the herring family soup and jellied. It is difficult to see the Catriona in the wild. This is available only to scuba divers, as the predator does not rise to the upper layers of water and prefers to stay in the depths.

The cat shark has a special grace, a very flexible body and a small size, with an average body length of 65-70 cm. It is not dangerous for humans, it leads a nocturnal lifestyle, feeds on crustaceans, mollusks, invertebrates.

How dangerous sharks in Turkey for vacationers

Attacks on swimmers and surfers are very rare. The statistics are mainly for the Mediterranean Sea, which is home to most shark species. In 100 years of observation it is reliably known about 21 cases of fatal attacks, so the danger is greatly exaggerated. Timely warning of an impending storm or the passage of large schools of fish, which can cause sharks, can avoid accidents in the water with the participation of sea predators.

There is a shark nursery in Gekova Bay near Marmaris, where youngsters of rare species grow up. The surrounding area is under increased surveillance to ensure the safety of holidaymakers.

Basics of safe behavior

Sharks in the Sea of Turkey
Sharks attack humans very rarely.

Turkey’s beaches are safe for swimming. To prevent predators from swimming to resting places, nets and deterrents are installed. There is little risk to swimmers who leave the delineated observation area and swim to significant depths.

To minimize the risk and not to provoke predators, you should remember that:

  • It is not necessary to enter the water during menstruation and in the presence of bleeding cuts;
  • it is not recommended to approach fishing boats;
  • After the storm, it is better to wait for the water to clear up and sedimentation of suspended sand and silt particles;
  • Before entering the water, bright costume jewelry is left on the shore, attracting sea creatures by the glitter and contrast of colors;
  • avoid night diving when a school of fish is approaching;
  • If a shark is spotted, you need to move calmly towards the shore, not making sudden movements and remaining calm.

Most often the cause of the attack is inadequate behavior of swimmers, frightened or angry shark. Again, it is worth remembering that there are very few cases of attack.

Visit Turkish resorts and enjoy beach holidays on the coast of any sea that washes the country, you can perfectly safe, without neglecting the rules of conduct and listening to the weather forecast.

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