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Are there sharks in ibiza waters?

Are there sharks in Ibiza? This is one of the questions many people ask themselves before setting foot on Ibiza and discovering every corner of its coastline.

Undoubtedly, Ibiza’s coves are one of its main attractions and many people choose this destination for water activities such as snorkelling. However, one of their biggest worries is whether they will be eaten by a great white shark. We want you to know that we don’t. That there are no white sharks in Ibiza.

However, it is estimated that there are approximately 47 species of sharks in the Mediterranean Sea, although most are harmless to humans. Which ones reach Ibiza’s waters?

Common concerns about sharks in the Mediterranean.

Many people are not well informed about the species of sharks living in the Mediterranean and their behaviour. One of their biggest concerns is in the wake of films like Jaws and they think they are going to be the next protagonists of a Steven Spielberg film.

Fear of shark attacks, although statistically low, is a frequent concern. But we would like to reassure you with the following facts:

  • According to the International Shark Attack File (ISAF), the Mediterranean has a very low incidence of shark attacks, with only around 10 attacks recorded in the last 20 years.
  • Spain has recorded fewer than 10 shark attacks in the last century, none of them in Ibiza.

Types of sharks in Ibiza waters

In Ibiza’s waters, it is possible to find several species of sharks, although most of them are harmless to humans. So you can swim in peace!

Common species

Although there is no specific shark census in Ibiza, sightings of species such as the Blue Shark (Prionace glauca) are occasional but not common in the surrounding waters. Known for its bluish skin and slender figure, this shark usually inhabits deep waters and rarely comes close to shore. The last sighting of this shark was in June 2023, on the shores of Cal贸 des Moltons, a small cove in Ibiza.

Although less common, occasional sightings of hammerhead sharks have been reported in warmer, deeper waters.

Rare sightings

Although Ibiza’s waters are not a hot spot for dangerous sharks, there are sporadic sightings of rarer species:

  • Great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias): Sightings are extremely rare, but not impossible. This shark is known to occur in the Mediterranean, although it tends to stay away from the coast. How do you know they might be close to Ibiza? For bites detected on cetaceans off the coast of the Balearic Islands.
  • Basking Shark (Cetorhinus maximus): The second largest fish in the world, it feeds on plankton and is harmless, but its large size can cause alarm. In fact, fishermen caught one by accident last year in Ibiza. They got quite a scare!

Shark safety tips

OK, let’s say you happen to go to Ibiza and you find yourself swimming with one of those sharks that you can find in its waters (remember: most of them are harmless). How should you act?

Swimming guidelines

To enjoy a safe swim in Ibiza, follow these guidelines:

  • Avoid swimming alone: It is always better to swim in a group.
  • Stay close to shore: Avoid swimming in deep or remote waters.
  • Observe the environment: If you see fish acting strangely or flocks of birds feeding, there could be sharks nearby.

Awareness and precautions

In addition to your bathing clothes, take these tips with you in your suitcase. Which, I’m sure, you’ll thank us for:

  • For your safety, avoid swimming at dawn, dusk or at night, as visibility is low and sharks are most active at these times.
  • Do not wear shiny jewellery, such as watches, in the water. The metallic reflections can resemble fish scales and attract sharks.
  • Try not to wear brightly colored clothes. Sharks have sharp eyesight and detect color contrasts very well.

In addition, beyond the sharks, you must always respect the flags and signs on the beach. You may not encounter a shark, but you will encounter a jellyfish. Sometimes they are much worse and can hurt you even more.

Understanding shark behavior

Don’t believe everything you see in the movies. Sharks are not as bad as they are portrayed on the big screen. And, to make you believe us, we are going to explain a little of how they behave.

Shark habits

Understanding how sharks live and behave can help mitigate fear:

  • Feeding patterns: Most sharks feed on fish rather than humans. Curious, huh? In the movies they seem to feed only on people.
  • Habitat areas: They prefer deep waters and are most active during dawn and dusk. So you don’t have to be afraid if at 12 o’clock in the morning you feel like taking a dip in one of Ibiza’s beaches.

Human interaction

Shark-human encounters are extremely rare and are generally not aggressive. As we have told you before, nothing has happened in Ibiza in the last 10 years.

  • Natural curiosity: Sharks may approach out of curiosity, but rarely attack. Especially if you are swimming with a large group of people.
  • Habitat protection: Respecting the marine environment and not disturbing the animals reduces the likelihood of unwanted encounters.

Importance of sharks in the ecosystem

Nothing could be further from the truth, sharks are very good for the ecosystem. These kings of the oceans play a very important role in the health of the sea.

  • Species population control: They help to maintain balance by controlling the population of other fish.
  • Indicators of ecosystem health: A healthy shark population indicates a balanced and well-managed ocean. The elimination of sharks can lead to an imbalance that negatively affects biodiversity and ocean health.

We hope this article has helped you to take away the fear of swimming among sharks in Ibiza. Enjoy the beaches, coves and explore the bottom of its waters. Because you won’t regret it, we assure you.