Are there sharks in Gran Canaria?
Yes! Many species of sharks primarily live in warm and shallow coastal waters, making Gran Canaria their ideal habitat. Let’s have a look at the different shark species living in Gran Canaria.
1. The angel shark
- The Angel shark is the shark that most people associate with Gran Canaria.
- The Angel Shark is a bottom dwelling shark that lives close to shore.
- The average size is 1.2 metres Angel sharks are bottom feeders
- The are 21 species of Angel shark 10 species are marked as threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature
2.Shortfin Mako Shark
- This shark is commonly found far from land in Gran Canaria.
- You can find them on the surface or 150 metres deep!
- An average adult measures around 3.2 m
- The shortfin Mako is recorded as the fastest swimming shark, it can swim up to 18.8 metres per second!
- Shortfin Mako Sharks are considered apex predators, they can eat dolphins, tunas, turtles and squid.
- These sharks are often found near the fisheries in Gran Canaria
- There are ten known species of Hammerhead sharks.
- These species range from 0.9m- 6.0 metres in length
- Hammerhead sharks are bottom feeders.
- They eat a large quantity of fish including stingrays, squid and octopus.
4. Common Smooth-Hound Shark
- Yes that’s right! Many people aren’t aware that the Smooth-hound shark inhabits the water of Gran Canaria
- The Common Smooth Hound shark will be found in large groups similar to a pack of dogs, hence the name Hound Shark.
- They can be found at depths ranging from 5 m to 625 m
- They primarily eat crustaceans.
Will I see these sharks when scuba diving in Gran Canaria?
You can see sharks when diving in Gran Canaria, but it is very rare to find any other shark species other than the angel shark when scuba diving. This is because:
- Angel sharks like to live in shallower water.
- The other species of sharks live far away from the shore and inhabit depths that we do not dive to.
- Angel sharks are mostly nocturnal and spend their time hiding just below the surface in the mud or sand, between rocks near reefs.
This means the sandy bottom composition of Amadores Bay, El Cabron and Risco verde are the best dive sites to find them. It is common for angel sharks to hunt from the same place for about ten days. If we see an Angel shark at the beginning of the week, it is common to find them again on another day in the same dive site.
When is the best time to see sharks in Gran Canaria?
Angel Sharks are usually solitary creatures except during mating season. Angel sharks typically mate in the Springtime, making the springtime the best season for finding angel sharks. But it is not uncommon to see them all year round. Our scuba diving instructors know their best hiding spots!
Is it safe to scuba dive in Gran Canaria
Completely! In the world, out of 500 species of sharks only a handful pose any threat to humans. The sharks that live in Gran Canaria all prefer to eat fish instead of scuba divers (phew!) As I said earlier, it is very rare to see any other sharks than Angel sharks. With this being said:
- Angel sharks present no threat to humans as attacks only happen when they are disturbed by human activity.
- Attacks from sharks across the Canaries are extremely rare, it is recorded that there is less than one every 15 years.
- As with all marine life, it is important to leave only bubbles! It is important to respect marine life and they will respect you.
So yes, not only is it safe to scuba dive in Gran Canaria, but it is safe to swim in the water!
Are Angel sharks endangered
Sadly, It is true that Angel sharks are critically endangered.
- The main threat is the use of trawling nets. Because they lie on the bottom of the the sea, they often get caught in the bottom fishing nets.
- More threats include catching the sharks for food, or for collecting oil that can be extracted from the shark.
I hope this blog helped answer some of your questions. Yes, we do have species of sharks in Gran Canaria. The most common species of shark to see when scuba diving in Gran Canaria is the Angel Shark, but we still hope to find others! However if you don’t manage to spot a shark we still have an abundance of other marine life and impressive volcanic rock formations that more than make up for it. Happy bubbles!