Are There Great White Sharks in the Mediterranean?

Are There Great White Sharks in the Mediterranean - great white shark image

You may be off on a trip to the Mediterranean or to dive the Mediterranean Sea and you want to know if great white sharks (Carcharodon Carcharias) are found there. Let’s take a look…

Are there great white sharks in the Mediterranean? Video evidence and research shows that great white sharks are in the Mediterranean Sea. The water temperature in the Mediterranean ranges from 14-28°C (57.2-82.4°F), which at certain times is the perfect temperature for great white sharks that prefer temperature of 12-24°C (54-75 °F).

The above answer may or may not worry you, depending on if you would like to see great white sharks when you visit or dive the Mediterranean Sea. However, sightings of great white sharks in the Mediterranean are very rare.

If you were in any doubt about great white sharks in the Mediterranean, the following video by Ocearch explains how great white sharks in the Mediterranean Sea are more similar to the white sharks from Japan.

If you would love to dive with great white sharks, one of the best ways to do this is to book yourself on a scuba diving liveaboard that visits Guadalupe Island in Mexico. You can check the latest and best deals on liveaboards using the following window:

However, this is reported in Scientific America:

Noble says the team was surprised to find that the section of DNA sequenced was identical in three of the four Mediterranean sharks, and showed that they were most closely related to Australian great whites. The team had expected to see more affinity with the nearer Atlantic or western Indian Ocean populations.”

Scientific AmericaMediterranean sharks are Australian immigrants
Mediterranean White Sharks & Japanese White Sharks
Populations of white sharks around the world have distinct genetic signatures. Usually sharks that are close together are also closely related. Yet somehow white sharks in the Mediterranean Sea are genetically similar to white sharks found near Japan. Right now scientists only have guesses about why this is. What is your theory?

Are Mediterranean water temperatures right for great white sharks?

The following table of sea temperatures in the Mediterranean shows how the water temperature is perfect for the great white shark to live. Some of the regions of the Mediterranean are better than others for great whites, for example, places like Gibraltar, Malaga (Spain) and Marseille (France) have the perfect sea water temperature year-round for great white sharks.

Mediterranean water temperatures For Great White Sharks?

Place in the MedAverage Low Mediterranean Water TemperatureAverage High Mediterranean Water TemperatureMonths when Mediterranean sea temperature is right for great white sharks
Alexandria, Egypt1726November to June
Antalya, Turkey1728November to June
Athens, Greece1524Year round
Barcelona, Spain1325September to July
Gibraltar1522Year round
Heraklion, Crete1525September to July
Larnaca, Cyprus1727November to June
Limassol, Cyprus1727November to June
Málaga, Spain1523Year round
Malta1526October to July
Marseille, France1322Year Round
Naples, Italy1427October to June
Tel Aviv, Israel1728November to June
Valencia, Spain1426September to July
Venice, Italy1026September to June
Notes: - Data for the above table was provided by
Great white sharks prefer sea water temperatures between 12-24°C (54-75 °F).

As great white sharks are migratory fish, they will tend to move from region to region. This means that in the areas where the water temperatures are above their preferred range at certain times of the year, white sharks probably move to the cooler regions of the Mediterranean during this time.

For example, the sea water temperature in the Mediterranean Sea near Italy’s Lampedusa Island, which sits between the east coast of Tunisia and Malta, ranges from 14.9-26°C (58.8-78.8 °F), but as the video below shows, great white sharks visit this region of the Mediterranean Sea.

The following video was taken of a great white shark in Lampedus, Italy.

WHITE SHARK IN LAMPEDUSA sighted by fishermen (SQUALO BIANCO A LAMPEDUSA avvistato dai pescatori)

Where in the Mediterranean are great white sharks?

Pregnant females and newly born great white sharks have been sighted in the Sicilian channel in the Mediterranean Sea, near the Italian island of Lampedusa, white sharks have been seen off the coast of Spain near Las Coruna, and have been caught in fishing nets off Turkey, Tunisia and Sicily.

There are some experts that believe the Mediterranean Sea is a great white shark nursery where they give birth and raise their young. It is said by scientists that like Salmon, great white sharks always return to their birthplace.

Is there great white sharks in Turkey?

Great white sharks are in Turkey, as two were captured in fishing nets off Turkey. Turkey has three seas off its coast, which include the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, and the Aegean Sea, some of which are deep waters. Also, sea water temperatures are right for great white sharks in Turkish waters from November to June.

Are great white sharks in Spain?

There are great white sharks in Spain, as a 5 metre (16.4 feet) great white shark was spotted in Las Coruna in the Spanish region of Galicia. The Galicia region is on the Atlantic coast, rather than the Mediterranean, but the seas water temperatures are right for great white sharks in Malaga, Spain year-round.

Are there great white sharks in Italy?

There are great white sharks in Italy, which is one of the only places in the Mediterranean where there is video evidence of the white sharks presence in the Med and Adriatic sea. A great white shark was seen by a father and son fishing off the coast of Rimini, Italy.

In the following video Italian father and son are visited by a great white shark whilst fishing by boat. The white shark takes chunks out of a tuna they caught earlier the same day.

Italian authorities have closed beaches around the coastal resort of Rimini after the sighting of a great white shark. The 18-foot (six-metre) shark was first captured on video by a local fisherman. And swimmers haven’t dipped a toe into the water since the footage was first shown on local television. Swimmers have wasted no time vacating beaches near Ancona on the Adriatic.

How common are great white sharks in Mediterranean?

Sightings of great white sharks in the Mediterranean Sea are very rare. But white sharks have been caught in fishing nets in Turkey, Tunisia and Sicily in the Mediterranean. Great white shark sightings in the Mediteranean may become even rarer, as the population is already small which means the lack of diversity may threaten their survival as their gene pool is potentially stagnant.

I hope you enjoyed this article about are there great white sharks in the Mediterranean

I’d love to hear from you. Tell us about your adventures of diving and snorkelling. Please use the comments section below. Please also share your photos. Either from your underwater cameras or videos from your waterproof go-pro’s!

If this article hasn’t answered all of your questions. If you have more questions either about snorkelling or scuba diving (or specifically about are there great white sharks in the Mediterranean), please comment below with your questions.

There will also be many more articles about scuba and scuba diving safety tips (and on snorkelling too) for you to read and learn about this fabulous sport.

Are There Great White Sharks in the Mediterranean?

Article written by Russell Bowyer who has been a scuba diver since diving on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia in 1989. After his first dive he trained as a BSAC diver in the UK. He attained his Diver Leader certification with BSAC. He then went on to become a scuba diving instructor, teaching others how to dive and was voted as Diving Officer and Treasurer for the Saffron Walden BSAC club too. Russell has dived all over the world, including the UK, on liveaboards in the Red Sea, the Caribbean, South Africa and the USA. Russell is experienced in all dive types, including drift diving, deep dives that involved decompression stops and recreational dives too.

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