The Sharks of Florida | Meet the Sharks

In Florida, you will find one of the largest concentrations and selections of sharks in the whole world. You will see sharks around Florida all year long, which makes Florida the ideal place to go diving with sharks. 

In this article, we will be going through some of the most common sharks you will see in Florida.

The Sharks of Florida | Meet the Sharks

Tiger Shark

Tiger Sharks are very big sharks that can reach 18 feet in length and weigh over 3,000 pounds. These sharks are easy to spot due to their striped bodies that are seen across their fins and sides. You can often find these sharks on ocean offshore waters or in shallow reefs.

Tiger Sharks are known as the second-largest predatory fish in the world, hunting birds, whales, turtles, fish and squid. They are great swimmers, who can have great speed when needed.  Usually, these sharks will leave divers alone, but you should always be cautious when they are around. 

Great Hammerhead Shark 

The Great Hammerhead Shark is the largest out of all the Hammerhead Sharks out there. It is also one of the biggest sharks in the ocean, coming in at around 20 feet.

There are in fact only two places in the world where you can find this species of shark, and South Florida is one of them. 

Typically, these sharks will feed on fish, stingrays and other sharks.

Bull Shark

It is known that Bull Sharks can be really aggressive sharks, and one of the most dangerous ones you’ll ever face. Bull Sharks can be found in both freshwater and saltwater. They have very broad bodies and like to hunt in packs. Overall, these sharks can weigh up to 1,500 pounds and reach up to 14 feet in length.

Scalloped Hammerhead

The Scalloped Hammerhead is another large variety of shark that can reach lengths between 6 and 10 feet. Yet, South Florida, is one of the very few places where you can always see this species of shark. Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks  are extremely fast swimmers, which have great reflexes.

Generally, they enjoy hunting and feeding on smaller sharks, fish and stingrays. 

Lemon Shark

There are plenty of Lemon Sharks to be seen all over Florida. These large sharks prefer quite shallow water, such as shallow reefs or flats, that are on the edge of the Gulf Stream. Overall, these are very gentle sharks that can move slowly. Yet they can be aggressive and move quickly when they need to. 

The Lemon Shark typically weighs around 500 pounds and measures 4 to 7 feet in length. 

Sandbar Shark

The Sandbar Shark is another very common shark you will likely see in the Florida waters. This is another species that enjoys staying in a pack, but they are strong and fast. Both their pectoral and dorsal fins are quite large. Often you will see them feeling on squid, crustaceans, and fish in shallow in-shore waters or the deeper offshore waters.

Reef Shark

The Sharks of Florida | Meet the Sharks

Reef Sharks can be found in both shallow and deep waters, in the Caribbean, South Florida and the Bahamas.  They are one of the fastest predators in the ocean, who enjoy hunting in packs for fish. These sharks can reach a maximum length of 8 feet and weigh 600 pounds. 

Black Tip Shark

The Black Tip Shark enjoys shallow waters, flats and reefs in Florida’s waters. Known for being very energetic sharks that can produce jumping abilities and fast speeds, while hunting. They will usually feed on fish and small sharks. 

On average, they will measure up to 7 feet and weigh 350 pounds. 

Mako Shark

Similar to the Bull Shark, the Mako Shark is another aggressive species of sharks you can encounter. These sharks mainly hunt and live in the offshore waters that are miles away from the shore. 

It is known that this species can reach speeds of over 40mph when in pursuit of prey. The Mako Shark enjoys feeding on dolphins, swordfish, small sharks and tuna.

In Florida, you may come face to face with this shark in the deepest areas of the Gulf Stream. These sharks can grow over 12 feet in length and weight around 1,200 pounds. 

Dusky Shark

Dusky Sharks like to live in shallow and deep waters, whether this is in or offshore. However, there are migratory sharks that will travel vast distances. You will often see the Dusky Shark in the Gulf Stream and on inshore reefs; Typically they will eat smaller shakers and fish. Thus weighing around 1,000 pounds and measuring up to 12 feet. 

Silky Shark

The Silky Shark is mainly found in offshore waters, that won’t see water that is anywhere less than 100 feet deep. These sharks are amazing hunters, who are always on their hunt for their prey. Like their name suggests, these sleek sharks have been bred to travel long distances quickly and easily. 

The Silky Shark is one of the most common sharks you will see if you go diving in Florida’s waters. 


There you have it, those are all the sharks that you could potentially meet in Florida’s waters. As you can see, there are a wide range of sharks that you could face. Some of them are very rare and only food in Florida.

We hope you liked this article and now know all the sharks that have made Florida their permanent home.  

Mikayla Adams