Are there sharks in the Dominican Republic?
Are there sharks in the Dominican Republic? Is it safe to swim in the waters surrounding this country? Have there been any accidents caused by sharks in the Dominican Republic? Sharks Dominican Republic – check out the most important information on this topic.
The Dominican Republic has become one of the most popular holiday destinations in recent years. The country, located on the island of Hispaniola, is surrounded by beautiful blue waters and has access to many sandy beaches. The Caribbean climate favors swimming in warm waters, but from time to time I am asked whether there is a risk of a shark attack in the Dominican Republic? What is the situation with sharks in this country? I will try to explain this topic to you.
- What sharks are there in the Dominican Republic?
- Where are the sharks in the Dominican Republic?
- Are there sharks around Punta Cana?
- Do shark attacks occur in the Dominican Republic?
- Shark tracking sites
- What to watch out for – sea currents
What sharks are there in the Dominican Republic?
First, it is worth considering what sharks occur in the Caribbean waters surrounding the Dominican Republic. The three most common species of sharks are tiger sharks, hammerhead sharks and Caribbean sharks. Other sharks that may occur in the waters of the Caribbean region include nurse sharks (in the Dominican Republic often called ‘tiburón gato’ – cat shark), lemon sharks and whale sharks.
It is worth remembering that sharks, like most animals, are afraid of humans and will avoid humans unprovoked.
Where are the sharks in the Dominican Republic?
The wide coral reef that surrounds the country is mainly responsible for the very rare occurrence of sharks in the waters surrounding the Dominican Republic. This is a natural barrier that makes it difficult for sharks to get closer to the coast. Even though sharks like to visit shallow waters, they generally have no way to get to the other side of the reef, closer to land. An interesting fact is that in the Caribbean region, shark attacks on people are very rare. Most sharks found in this region are not aggressive towards humans unless provoked. These sharks mainly feed on other animals that swim in groups – fish, seals, and sometimes dolphins.
Unfortunately, the destruction of the natural barrier, the coral reef, may contribute to sharks getting to the other side of the reef more often.
Are there sharks around Punta Cana?
As I have already mentioned, various species of sharks live in the waters surrounding the Dominican Republic, but their occurrence near the shore is very rare. This is due to the coral reef, which is a natural barrier against sharks. No one can guarantee that a stray shark will not visit the beach in the Punta Cana area during your stay, but these are very rare cases. If they do happen, most people record this unusual “phenomenon” with their smartphone. There are many recordings of this type on the Internet. In such a situation, remember not to get too close to the animal, do not irritate it or fish it out of the water.
When visiting Punta Cana, enjoy your stay in this place and don’t forget to use creams with SPF and proper hydration. You can read more about the beaches in the Punta Cana region in a separate entry.
Do shark attacks occur in the Dominican Republic?
Over the last two centuries, there have been only seven shark attacks on humans in the Dominican Republic, including victims of the Puerto Plata plane crash (1996) and the Mona Strait liner disaster (1987). In both cases, sharks attacked the bodies of survivors. Of the remaining five attacks, only two were fatal.
Shark tracking sites
I think that a website that allows you to track sharks may be quite interesting for those interested in the occurrence of sharks in the Dominican Republic. Of course, these are not all animals, only those that have been microchipped. It’s definitely an interesting thing, and it’s worth seeing how these majestic creatures move around the globe.
What to watch out for – sea currents
On the topic of sharks, it is also worth mentioning, a real threat that kills over 100 people every year in the United States alone. We are talking about sea currents, which are water movements caused by winds, temperature changes, salinity and the Earth’s rotation. The most dangerous is certainly the reverse current (or dead current), which appears near the shore and stretches deeper into the sea/ocean. Remember not to fight the current and force yourself to swim to the shore. Stay calm and swim along the shore until you are out of the current. An alternative may be to float freely in the water, as currents often sweep carried away objects onto the shore.
To sum up the topic of sharks in the Dominican Republic, do not worry about the visit of these animals close to the shore and enjoy your rest. If you are going diving, fishing in open waters or want to take part in other water activities, always listen to the advice of your instructor or guide.
In the Dominicana tab you can find more useful information and recommendations about this country.
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