The question is do you get sharks in Indonesia, and if so what kind of sharks are the in Indonesia? If you are looking to visit Indonesia and you intend to scuba dive or snorkel, you may be wondering what kind of sharks are in Indonesia.
Indonesia is home to many types of shark, with the mostly likely sharks seen as the grey reef shark, blacktip reef shark and whitetip reef shark, along with the wobbegong shark sightings in Raja Ampat and hammerheads at the Ring of Fire in the Banda Sea. But you may also encounter a whale shark, mako shark, thresher shark, epaulette shark, silky sharks, silvertip shark, tiger shark, zebra or leopard shark, megamouth shark, bull shark and even a great white shark.
The best way to dive Indonesia and to hopefully see more sharks, whether that’s to Komodo or Raja Ampat, is by a scuba diving liveaboard. You can check the latest and best deals on Indonesian liveaboards using the following window:
The following article includes at least one video of each of the sharks encountered in Indonesia, as per the following list of sharks:
- Grey reef sharks.
- Blacktip reef sharks.
- Whitetip reef sharks.
- Wobbegong sharks.
- Schooling hammerhead sharks
- Whale sharks.
- Short fin mako sharks.
- Thresher sharks.
- Epaulette sharks.
- Silvertip reef sharks.
- Silky sharks.
- Tiger sharks.
- Zebra or leopard sharks.
- Megamouth sharks.
- Bull sharks.
- Great white sharks.
Either before or after reading about sharks in Indonesia, you might like to take a look at Indonesian liveaboards in the following table:
This list of Indonesia liveaboards is in descending customer rating order, followed by Scuba Diving Luxury Rating (SDE Lux Rating, see below), so the liveaboards with the highest customer rating and the best SDE lux rating will be at the top of the list. If you want to change the list order, use the “Sort by” dropdown below.
|Discover Liveaboard||Customer Review (Max 10)||SDE Lux Rating %||Flexible Booking||Dive Courses||Dietary Requirements||Nitrox||Gear Rental|
|Review Link: MV Seaisee; Booking Link: MV Seaisee||10||90%||YES||NO||YES||YES||YES|
|Review Link: Scubaspa Zen; Booking Link: Scubaspa Zen||10||88%||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|Review Link: Jakaré; Booking Link: Jakaré||10||81%||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|Review Link: Leyla; Booking Link: Leyla||10||73%||YES||YES||YES||NO||YES|
|Review Link: Wisesa; Booking Link: Wisesa||10||71%||YES||YES||YES||NO||YES|
|Review Link: Seven Seas; Booking Link: Seven Seas||10||71%||NO||NO||YES||YES||YES|
|Review Link: Cahaya Bersama; Booking Link: Cahaya Bersama||10||63%||YES||YES||YES||NO||YES|
|Review Link: MV Tarata; Booking Link: MV Tarata||10||52%||NO||NO||YES||YES||NO|
|Review Link: MV Blue Manta; Booking Link: MV Blue Manta||9.9||69%||NO||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|Review Link: Tiare Cruise; Booking Link: Tiare Cruise||9.7||87%||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES|
The Scuba Diving Earth Luxury Rating (SDE Lux Rating) is explained on each liveaboard review when you click the “Discover Liveaboard” link, and is my own Liveaboard Luxury Rating I’ve assigned to all liveaboards. Choosing between liveaboards is helped by customer scores, and if you get stuck choosing between two or three liveaboards, where each one has a high customer score out of 10, you can use the SDE Luxury Rating to help narrow down your choice.
Think about it like using Booking.com when searching for the best hotel. Booking.com also use a customer score where each customer rates hotels out of 10. This is similar to the liveaboard customer rating, which is also rated out of 10. But let’s say you only like to stay in hotels rated 8 and above on Booking.com, but you also want the hotel to have WIFI or parking, or to have a swimming pool etc. The features each hotel has is usually secondary to the score out of 10.
Grey reef sharks in Indonesia
The grey reef shark (Carcharhinus Amblyrhynchos) is one of the most common reef sharks in the Indo-Pacific region and is found in Indonesia. The grey reef shark is a medium to large shark growing to between 1.22 to 1.45 metres (4-4.75 feet) long, and has a grey dorsal surface with a black edge on its caudal fin.
The following video is of a grey reef shark in Raja Ampat, Indonesia.
Blacktip reef shark in Indonesia
The blacktip reef shark (Carcharhinus Melanopterus) is a species of requiem shark and is often seen by divers in Indonesia. The blacktip reef shark is easily identified by the by the prominent black tips on its fins, but in particular its dorsal fin. Blacktip reef sharks can grow up to 2 metres (6’6″ feet) in length.
The following video is of a blacktip reef shark in Indonesia’s Raja Ampat.
Whitetip reef sharks in Indonesia
The whitetip reef shark (Triaenodon Obesus) is a bottom dwelling shark encountered on many dives in Indonesia. The whitetip reef shark is often found resting on the seabed, as it doesn’t need to swim constantly to breath unlike other sharks. Mostly smaller than a blacktip reef shark and rarely growing to more than 1.6metres (5.2 foot) long.
The following video begins with a whitetip reef shark in Indonesia, followed by a blacktip reef shark too.
Wobbegong shark in Indonesia
Wobbegong sharks (Orectolobus Maculatus) are commonly encountered in Raja Ampat, Indonesia. The Wobbegong shark is a bottom-dwelling shark and spend most of their time resting on the seabed. Smaller than the average shark with a maximum length of 1.25 m (4.1 feet).
The following video is of a Wobbegong shark in Raja Ampat, Indonesia.
Schooling scalloped hammerhead sharks Indonesia
Indonesia is home to the scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphyrna Lewini), which can be found schooling in the Ring of Fire, Indonesia. The scalloped hammerhead shark will grow to around 4.3 metres (14 feet) long.
The following vide is of many schooling scalloped hammerheads in Indonesia’s Banda Sea.
As hammerheads are such amazingly strange creatures, and I love them, I wanted to share another Indonesian hammerhead shark vide too:
And one more close-encounter with a solo hammerhead shark in Indonesia.
Whale sharks in Indonesia
Whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) are found in Indonesia, and are the largest shark in the ocean and have been reportedly seen of lengths up to 18 metres (59 feet).
The following video is a a whale shark in Indonesia in a know area for swimming with whale sharks, Cendrawasih Bay. The whale sharks around Cenderawasih Bay are the only known non-migratory whale sharks in the world. This is good news for divers and snorkelers wanting to encounter these amazing creatures, as there’s no whale shark season in Indonesia.
Short fin mako sharks in Indonesia
Indonesia is home to short fin mako sharks (Isurus Oxyrinchus), which is also known as the blue pointer or bonito shark. The mako shark is a large mackerel shark and in the same family of sharks as the great white shark (see below). Mako sharks grow to around 3.2 to 3.8 metres (10-12 feet) long.
The following video footage is a mako shark circling the boat of an Indonesian fisherman.
Thresher sharks in Indonesia
Indonesia is home to thresher sharks (Alopias Vulpinus), which are easily identified by their extra long caudal fins. Thresher sharks are large sharks and can grow to around 4.9 metres (16 feet) long.
The following video is of a thresher shark in Indonesia in Alor.
Epaulette shark in Indonesia
The epaulette shark (Hemiscyllium Ocellatum), also known as the walking shark, is another resident shark of Indonesian waters. This strange looking bottom-dweller, which is a long-tailed carpet shark, is known for ‘walking‘ along the seabed.
The following vide is of an epaulette shark in Indonesia, which includes the shark walking along the bottom.
It’s worth sharing another vide of the walking epaulette shark in Indonesia:
Silky sharks in Indonesia
The silky shark (Carcharhinus Falciformis), also known as the grey whaler shark is found in Indonesian waters. Silky sharks can grow to a length of 2.5 metres (8’2″), and got its name from its smooth texture skin.
The following vide is of a silky shark in Indonesia.
Silvertip sharks in Indonesia
The silvertip shark (Carcharhinus Albimarginatus) is found in Indonesian waters, and is very similar to a grey reef shark. The colours of a silvertip shark are very similar to a grey reef shark, except a silvertip shark has a distinctive white or silver rear edge to its dorsal fin. Silvertips are also larger and bulkier than grey reef sharks, and is commonly mis-named as a whitetip reef shark.
Silvertip sharks grow to around 3 metres (10 feet) long.
The following video of Raja Ampat sharks includes a brief glimpse of silvertip sharks in Indonesia, the video starts at the point they are spotted.
Tiger shark in Indonesia
Whilst tiger sharks (Galeocerdo Cuvier) are rarely seen in Indonesia, they are to be found in Indonesian waters. The tiger shark is a large shark and can grow to a length of 5.5 metres (18.1 feet), and are often referred to as the dustbins of the oceans.
I apologise for sharing the following video of a tiger shark in Indonesia, as it shows a tiger shark being caught by Indonesian fishermen who cut off the fins off this beautiful creature. I don’t like to see this, as I’m sure you won’t like it either.
Zebra shark or leopard shark in Indonesia
Indonesia is home to the zebra shark (Stegostoma Tigrinum), also known as the leopard shark. The zebra shark is a species of bottom dwelling carpet sharks and can grow to a length of 2.5 metres (8.2 feet).
The following video is of a zebra or leopard shark in Indonesia.
Megamouth shark in Indonesia
The megamouth shark (Megachasma Pelagios) can be found in Indonesia, but you would have to be extremely luck to see one. The megamouth shark is normally found in deep waters, and is rarely seen by humans and can grow to a length of 5 metres (16 feet).
In the video below these divers were lucky to spot a megamouth shark in Indonesia.
Bull sharks in Indonesia
There are bull sharks in Indonesia, which are large bulky and aggressive sharks. Bull sharks (Carcharhinus leucas), which are also known as the “Zambezi shark” have a bad reputation for attacking humans.
Bull sharks are large sharks and can grow up to 4 meters (13 feet) long, and Bull sharks are wider and heavier than other requiem sharks of comparable length. They are similar in colour to grey reef sharks, as they are grey on top and white underneath.
The following video is an ABC 10 News report of a surfer being attacked by a shark in Indonesia, which is suspected as being an attack by the bull shark.
Great white shark in Indonesia
It would appear that Indonesia does have great white sharks (Carcharodon Carcharias), which are also known as the white shark, white pointer, or simply great white. Great whites are a species of large mackerel shark and can grow to a length of 6.1 metres (20 feet).
The reason this is strange is that great white sharks prefer cooler waters in the temperature range of 12-24°C (54-75 °F), whereas Indonesian waters range in temperature between 25.6-30.5°C (79.1-86°F). It is possible that global warming is affecting the currents and the great whites are following cooler currents to this area of the Indian Ocean.
It would be unusual to see a great white shark in Indonesia, but the following video in Bali these divers spot a lone great white shark. It’s difficult to properly identify the shark, but it certainly looks like a mackerel shark, and is likely a great white shark.
Common sharks of Indonesia Raja Ampat
A video of the more commonly seen sharks of Indonesia’s Raja Ampat, which includes the wobbegong shark, grey reef shark, whitetip reef shark, silvertip shark and blacktip reef sharks.
I hope you enjoyed this article about what kind of sharks are in Indonesia
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If this article hasn’t answered all of your questions. If you have more questions either about snorkelling or scuba diving (or specifically about what kind of sharks are in Indonesia), 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.
Have fun and be safe!