Sea Life

What Caused a Shark Attack in the Bahamas?

what caused shark attack in bahamas

Sharks are everywhere in the West End and diving into Grand Bahama Island is no joke. The Bahamas is present in the North Atlantic and has a total of 700 islands. The sharks that frequent the area are the Tiger sharks, Nurse Sharks, Lemon sharks, Hammerhead sharks, Oceanic whitetip sharks, Caribbean beef sharks, and Bull sharks. Planning trips to the Bahamas might seem risky at some level due to the increasing number of shark attacks in recent years. It is quite a mystery what is causing this increase. 

In this article, we will discuss the following in detail:

Are the Bahamas Shark Infested?

Yes, the whole west is shark-infested and in the Bahamas, you will find 40 different species of shark. Below is the list of different types of sharks found in the Bahamas water: 

  • Hammerhead Shark
  • Bull Shark
  • Tiger Shark
  • Lemon Shark
  • Nurse Shark
  • Oceanic Whitetip Shark
  • Silky Shark

Let us discuss the types of sharks present in the Bahamas beaches in detail:

1: Hammerhead Shark

One of the most common sharks that can be seen in the Bahamas water is the great hammerhead shark. They feed on small fishes, invertebrates, and rays. Hammerhead sharks are found in temperate and tropical water throughout the world’s oceans and are often spotted in the shallow water around the reefs.

2: Bull Shark

In the Bahamas water, bull sharks are common, they tend to stay closer to shore than other species like tiger sharks and hammerhead sharks. Bull sharks are commonly found in river mouths, but they will also visit shallow coral reefs if there is food in abundance. They mostly eat other fish, but scavenging is unheard of.

3: Tiger Shark

Another type of species that is commonly found in the Bahamas water is tiger shark. It is observed that these sharks travel farther out into the shore, these apex predators live in warmer coastal water usually. They eat different types of sea animals like fish, crabs, sea turtles, clams, and sometimes even bigger animals like dolphins or small whales.

4: Lemon Shark

Lemon sharks like to eat bony fish and cephalopods. The bull and lemon sharks tend to live in similar areas, but lemon sharks prefer deeper coral reefs and seagrass beds. During the day the lemon sharks rest in the deepest water near walls and at night they search for small fishes near coral reefs.

5: Nurse Shark

Nurse sharks commonly stay in shallower depths near salty flats. During the day, they rest under ledges or cracks in sheltered bays, and at night, they find mollusks in the sediment.

6: Oceanic Whitetip Shark

Oceanic whitetip sharks like swimming in the open water near the Bahamas. Young ones are more commonly spotted than the adults as they prefer warm shallow water with lots of food like tuna and barracuda. 

7: Silky Shark

Silky sharks usually stay near the shore drop-offs but can also swim in deeper water. They feed on schooling fish like tuna and mackerel.

Are Bahamas Beaches Safe From Sharks?

No, the beaches in the Bahamas are not safe from sharks, you might have encounters with people saying that the beaches are safe from sharks but in reality, we can see sharks on the Bahamas beaches.

What Caused Shark Attacks in the Bahamas?

The season when shark attacks are at its peak is during the summer months of June, July, and August. Multiple reasons have led to a lot of shark attacks in the Bahamas. In this below section, we will closely look at the reasons and explain why Bahamas waters are more likely to have shark encounters:

1: Location

The Bahamas location is one of the biggest reasons why shark attacks are common. A place where many sharks live is Tropical Western Atlantic and the Bahamas is located there. Being close to the Gulf Stream, a warm current with a lot of food for sharks makes waters around the island a home for many sharks. This increases the chances of sharks coming into contact with humans.

2: Water Condition

In the Bahamas apart from the location, the water condition also increases the ratio of shark attacks. If the water is dirty, it will be harder for a person to see sharks nearby, making it difficult to avoid a shark attack.

3: Human Behavior

It’s essential not to ignore human behavior while looking at the shark attacks in the Bahamas. People need to realize that they are entering a natural environment where large predators live and should take appropriate precautions.

4: Environmental Change

Environmental changes like plastic in the ocean and global warming can affect shark behavior. Also, more storms due to climate change might impact shark migration. It is important to be cautious in the wild 

where these big predators live.  

5: Mistake Identity

Seals are the favorite food of sharks and humans are not on the shark’s menu. The mistaken identity of humans may have caused the attack as the humans and seals closely resemble each other.

6: High Population

The chances of shark attacks increase with the high number of people in the water.

Are Sharks a Threat to the Bahamas?

Yes, sharks are a problem in the Bahamas; there have been shark attacks in the Bahamas. According to the report of the International Shark Attack File (ISAF), most of the attacks took place in the Bahamas. Most of the shark attacks took place in the shallow waters near Grand Bahamas Island. If you are swimming there, it is important to be safe by not swimming alone.

Precautions to Avoid the Attacks of Sharks in the Bahamas

The Bahamas is a popular location for scuba diving and other water activities. Although there are high chances of shark attacks, you can enjoy the beauty and nature by taking the following precautionary measures:

  • Always swim in packs.
  • Wear brightly colored suits to blend with nature.
  • Avoid wearing jewelry.
  • Stay on rocks and sandy bottoms instead of open areas.
  • Avoid surfing in warmer waters during summer as the warm water is the best habitat for sharks.
  • Avoid swimming in places near rivers and channels where fish migrate through.


West End including the Bahamas is shark-infested and is home to almost 40 sharks. The frequent sharks are Hammerhead Shark, Tiger Shark, Bull Shark, Nurse Shark, Lemon Shark, and many more. Now you know why there are many shark attacks in the Bahamas and how to stay safe while diving into the Bahamas water which is populated with sharks.

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