Wednesday, February 10, 2010

7 of the 10 Most Dangerous Sharks in the World are possibly in the Philippines

The Philippines is a country located in Southeast Asia. It's an archipelago with 7107 islands. Bounded by the Philippine sea on the east, nearby countries include Taiwan (North of the Philippines), Vietnam (West of the Philippines), Borneo (Southwest of the Philippines) and Indonesia (South of the Philippines).

A country surrounded with waters, Philippines is a tropical country with only 2 seasons. The wet season (July to September) and the dry season (October to June). The wet and dry season changed a bit as observed last year because of Global warming.

Philippines is well-known in the world for their beaches -- Boracay, El Nido and Caramoan (where the French survivor is currently held).

The only famous shark (harmless) encounter activity in the Philippines is the whale shark a.k.a. 'Butanding' (Rhincodon typus) February to May is the peak season for the famous whale shark encounter in Donsol. They mostly inhabit tropic and warm-temperate seas.

Despite of it's size, Whale Sharks do not pose any significant danger to humans. Just be careful from unintentional blows from their tail fins.

After learning about some facts about the whale shark, I begin to gather some interest in learning more about the other shark species.

It's summer time again and this means... BEACHES!!! :)
Below, I will list the 7 out of 10 most dangerous sharks in the world that can possibly be located in the Philippines. (In order from least to most dangerous)

#7 Blue Shark (Prionace Glauca)

-Long pectoral fins with slender head with parabolic snout
-Deep blue (Top body); Lighter blue (sides); White (underside)
-Usually around 12.5ft long
-300 to 400 lbs

Distribution (Location)
-They rarely venture close to the shore
-Mostly located in deep waters
-Temperate and tropical waters

Danger to humans:
Seems to be potentially dangerous although questionable

#6 Grey Reef Shark (Carcharhinus Amblyrhynchos)

-Broadly rounded snout
-Grey upper body; White ventral surface; Fin has a blackband
-6ft to 8ft long
-Around 70lbs

-Coastal, shallow water specie
-Can be found in waters that is less than 200ft
-Can dive as deep as 3300ft
-Loves clear water and rugged type of topography
-Usually found on the outer-edges of the reef

Danger to humans:
-Grey reef sharks are known to "hunch" when feeling threatened.
-They are often curious about the divers when they first enter the water
-More aggressive if encountered in open water than on the reef
-Has listed 7 unprovoked attacks and 6 provoked attacks

Additional information (Grey Reef Shark):

#5 Shortfin Mako (Isurus Oxyrinchus)


-6ft to 10ft long
-135 to 800lbs
-Bluish black and white underside
-Sleek spindle-shaped shark with a long conical snout
-Very hydrodynamic

-Offshore temperate and tropical seas
-Normally far from land
-Often found where swordfishes are
-Can be found on the surface down to nearly 500ft

Danger to humans:
-8 recorded unprovoked attacks with 2 fatalities
-20 boat attacks
-Seems to be dangerous

#4 Oceanic Whitetip shark (Carcharhinus Longimanus)

-Has long wing-like pectoral and dorsal fins
-Bronze, brown, bluish or greyish dorsally (Depending on the region)
-White ventrally ; Sometimes with a slight yellow tint
-Around 10ft
-Usually weighs around 370lbs
-Flank with an inconspicuous white band
-Active both day and night

-Found globally in deep, open water
-Usually spends time on the upper layer of the ocean
-Can go as deep as 500ft
-Can also be found close to land in shallow waters with around 120ft

Danger to humans:
-Dangerous Species
-"Dangerous of all sharks" according to Jacques Cousteau
-Deaths attributed to the whitetip total thousands worldwide. During world war 2, the Nova Scotia steamship with 1000 pax sunk and only 192 survived. many deaths were attributed to the whitetip
-Opportunistic and Aggressive
-Will attack human for food

#3 Tiger Shark (Galeocerdo Cuvieri)
-Weighs 850 to 1400 lbs
-11ft to 14ft in length
-Can cruise around 32km/h
-Head is wedged-shape
-Long fins with highback dorsal fins
-Dark grey with tiger stripe markings

-Close to the coast in mainly tropical and sub-tropical waters
-Tends to stay in deep waters that line reefs but tend to move to shallow waters when pursuing preys
-Known to go as deep as 3000ft BUT, can go to shallow waters unexpected for a specie of that size

Danger to humans:
-2nd only to great white shark in number of recorded attacks towards humans
-Curious and aggressive towards humans
-Highly Dangerous

#2 Great White Shark (Carcharodon Carcharias)
-11 to 13ft (males); 15 to 16ft (females)
-Weighs around 1,500 to 2,400lbs
-White underside with grey dorsal area
-Have rows of serrated teeth behind the main ones
-Has robust large conical snout

-Temperate seas and penetrate tropical waters
-A nearshore dweller
-Patrols small coastal archipelagos inhabited by pinnipeds
-Spends time near the surface or at the bottom

Danger to humans:
-Mediterranean Sea: 31 confirmed attacks
-Bites buoys, flotsams and other unfamiliar objects
-Might grab a human or a surfboard just to identify it
-Attacks occur in waters with low visibility
-Most cases are regarded as mistaken identity. They find humans bony and prefer fat protien rich seals
-Infrequently attacks and sinks boats
-Bumps and knocks people over board
-Credited with the most fatal attacks compared to the others

More information on Great White shark attacks: Great White Shark attacks record

#1 Bull Shark a.k.a. Zambesi Shark (Carcharhinus Leucas)

-Large and stout
-6 to 13ft
-200 to 700lbs
-Pale to dark grey color

-Common in coastal areas of warm oceans
-Also in rivers, lakes and occassionaly salt and freshwater streams
-Does not usually swim deeper than 100ft
-Tropical to sub-tropical coastal waters
-LOVES tropical climate
-Can spend long periods of time in fresh water
-Very abundant in the tropics
-Occurs in numerous 3rd world regions including SouthEast Asia (Attacks are often not reported in these regions)
Danger to humans:
-The most dangerous species of tropical waters
-Usually hunt in pairs
-Terrirorial animals. Attacks animals that enters their territory
-Known to attack humans
-69 unprovoked attacks to humans recorded. Of which, 17 was fatal
-It's large size, occurrence in freshwater bodies, and greater abundance in close proximity to numerous human populations in the tropics makes it more of a potential threat than either the white shark or tiger shark.
-Recorded attacks were recorded in shallow rivers as wide as only 40ft

Tips to avoid unwanted encounter of the Bull Shark:
  1. Avoid swimming near river mouths or other estuaries with turbid waters where bull sharks are known to occur.
  2. Do not swim near schools of fish in inshore areas. These schools are often pursued by large predators.
  3. Be cautious if spearfishing. Bull sharks are known to approach spearfishermen carrying their catch.
  4. Do not duplicate the practices of some television "adventurers" who flagrantly disregard common sense for showboating around sharks while underwater.

There have been only a few recorded shark attacks in the Philippines according to the International Shark Attack File. Check out this map of confirmed unprovoked shark attacks. (14 attacks, 6 were fatal. Last recorded as 1960) Last update was July 7, 2009

Hopefully in the near future, we can position Philippines as one of the cage diving sites in the world.

Related shark attack articles in the Philippines:

Paoay Ilocos Norte Fatal Shark attack (Nov 7, 2008) -

Batangas Shark Attack (Apr 22, 2009) -

Tips on how to reduce the risk of having an unwanted shark encounter


Boracay Hotels said...

So scary. I hope never came this shark in philippines especially in the island here, like boracay, palawan, davao, everything.
Thanks for sharing

Tanya Gemarin

Blogger said...

Are you fucking serious, there are great white sharks here? FUCK ME I'm never scuba diving again WTF.

Anonymous said...

Don't scare the people out of the water. I'm A diver and I dive with the white tip, black tip and blue shark and I've captured them on Camera but they never attacked us or other divers. I would like to invite you to dive just at least for you to experience diving with these sharks.

Anonymous said...

Scare of what? The last shark attack was back in 1960.. jeez.