Sharks in Panama City Beach, Florida

Published 1 month ago


People are basically as captivated by sharks as they are by dolphins, but for very different purposes. dolphins are playful, entertaining, and intelligent, although sharks are brutal, fast, and fatal to their prey. Conveniently, despite the tales that occur every year, sharks aren't very interested in humans. They sometimes mistake humans as their target, which can result in shark attacks, but experts say that other aquatic life, like stingrays, are much more potentially risky.

There have been some occasional shark sightings this year in the Panama City Beach region. More hammerhead sharks than regular have been active in the region, directing to numerous sightings, a mako shark beached itself in the early hours of the morning, resulting in a surprise.

Types of Sharks in Panama City Beach

Atlantic Sharpnose

Atlantic Sharpnose

This is one of the tinier shark species in Panama City Beach, hardly growing beyond 3' big. Despite its size, the Atlantic Sharpnose shark poses "a intermediate danger to humans." Preferring shallow waters near to beach, they generally reach into regular contact with humans. Fortunately, although these aggressive tiny sharks might bite, they won't cause vital injury and definitely won't threaten your life.

Although they can't reside in freshwater, like the bull shark, Atlantic Sharpnose sharks can withstand less salty water than several additional species. That implies you're likely to discover them near to the beach, primarily during the spring and summer months.

Blacknose Shark

A slightly bigger than the Atlantic Sharpnose, the Balcknose is handily distinct by the black spot at the edge of its snout. This marking is further noticeable in minors and fades as the shark matures. Measuring roughly 4' big, Blacknose sharks mainly feast on tinier fish and the periodic octopus. While the Blacknose shark takes a protective posture if confronted by humans, it's not recognized to attack.

Divers have interpreted the Blacknose hunching its back and lifting its head at them, evidently to either warn them off or frighten them. However, it has never been linked with any shark attacks on humans.

Blacktip Shark

Blacktip Shark

Arguably the vastly familiar species of shark in Panama City Beach and the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Blacktip can be observed in the area all year round. These feeble sharks usually resist contact with humans but have been responsible for 28 unprovoked assaults and 13 given shark attacks since 2008. As blacktip sharks hunt in waters less than 100ft deep, they frequently reach near to humans.

When vision is poor, they may misinterpret a human foot or hand for a fish, emerging in a painful issue of mistaken individuality. Responsible for approximately 20% of all shark attacks in Florida, blacktip sharks should be assessed "unintentionally dangerous."

Bonnethead Shark

Bonnethead Shark

The tiniest of all the hammerhead sharks, the bonnethead is a familiar inshore visitor in temperate and subtropical oceans. Furthermore recognized as the shovelhead, it is the solely identified omnivorous shark species, feeding on big amounts of seagrass, as well as crustaceans and fish. Bonnethead sharks are timid creatures that are seldom recognized to bite.

Bull Shark

Bull Shark

Some experts consider the bull shark more risky than the great white, somewhat because it spends so much time in the same shallow waters that humans frequent. This shark will attack almost anything that moves, including a human.

Bull sharks have been accountable for six fatal, unprovoked assaults, incorporating one in the Gulf of Mexico in 2005, where the casualty was a 14-year-old girl. Even with its fame for aggression, attacks by bull sharks are rare and far between.

Finetooth Shark

Another species of requiem shark, the Finetooth is elegant and slender, measuring approximately 6 feet long. These friendly sharks establish big schools when hunting and frequent exceptionally shallow waters less than 33-feet deep in summer. If caught, the Finetooth shark becomes incredibly brutal, thrashing and snapping at its captors.

Great Hammerhead

Great Hammerhead

One of the most unusual shark sightings in Panama City Beach encompassed what looked like it was going to be an unprovoked shark attack by a great hammerhead. Traveling at approximately 40kph, the hammerhead is a fierce hunter, and, at up to 20' long, this shark species is indeed capable of assassinating a human. Despite that, only 16 unprovoked attacks have ever been documented, none of which were deadly.

Oceanic Whitetip Shark

Oceanic Whitetip Shark

This shark is one of the top 10 most dangerous sharks in the world. As such, it should be "treated with ultimate caution." An opportunistic feeder, the whitetip can be risky around humans, as the species' 15 unprovoked attacks indicate.

Nurse Shark

Nurse Shark

Nurse sharks seem peaceful enough, resting around on the seafloor, but they can give a brutal bite if accidentally walked on or prompted. Nurse sharks are reluctant to let go once they get their teeth into you, but they seldom cause serious damage.

Although nurse sharks can grow up to 10 feet in length, maximum attacks appear to involve minor sharks just a couple of feet long. Something of the inactivity of the sea, the nurse shark disburses most of the day resting around and sleeping. It's just during the twilight hours that they become robust, utilizing their suction-feeding method to suck conches out of their shells.

Sandbar Shark

Sandbar Shark

Anglers and fishing pacts in the Panama City Beach region often mark and hook sandbar sharks. As their name implies, they're attracted to the region's white sands and double sandbar structure. Averaging almost 6-feet long, the sandbar shark is large enough to hurt a human but not hostile enough to make this a familiar occurrence.

Although the sandbar shark will shift into harbors, river mouths, and estuaries to feed, it is willing to prevent the regions visited often by humans.

Scalloped Hammerhead

Scalloped Hammerhead

Like the great hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead, and bonnethead are all regular visitors to the Panama City Beach region. They are furthermore so timid that scientists endeavor to get near enough to research them, so the possibilities of being bitten by one are exceptionally poor.

Unlike maximum shark species, which are found near to the beach after dusk, the scalloped hammerhead moves towards the shore during the day and hunts in the deeper, offshore waters at night.

Shortfin Mako

Capable of achieving speeds of over 50 kph, the this is the fastest shark in the world. One of the shark species targeted by shark-fishing undertakings in Panama City Beach, it's huge, fast, and potentially risky.

Usually observed in deep waters far from beach, the Shortfin mako is not considered as a serious danger to humans, but is still responsible for nine shark attacks, comprising one deadly bite.

Spinner Shark

Spinner Shark

Spinner sharks are simple to recognize when they leap out of the waves and spin through the air like out-of-control torpedos. Another famous game fish, it is regularly targeted by shark fishing operators.

Similar to the blacktip in appearance, the spinner shark often reaches into contact with people as they like warm, shoreside waters, precisely like those found off Panama City Beach. Although not naturally hostile, these sharks are responsible for 16 attacks on humans.

Thresher Shark

Thresher Shark

This shark has a lengthy upper lobe on its caudal fin, which it utilizes to horrify fish into submission. Commonly timid around humans, the thresher is a huge, however non-aggressive shark with a nearly widespread ratio. Feeding on tiny, schooling fish, these shark can reach sizes of up to 14-foot long.

Shark Encounters in Panama City Beach Do You Actually Need to Worry?

Shark attacks over the years have been slowly reducing in volume, and there are numerous facts and figures which should leave you convinced that you'll be safe. While Florida is statistically the most feasible area to get bitten by a shark, up on the Panhandle where Panama City Beach is placed you are pretty much secure, as attacks generally happen on the western and southern beaches of the state. In fact, Panama City Beach has just listed eight shark attacks over the prior 121 years, with the merely two resulting in casualties being a snorkeler and a diver. So, while there are multiple species of sharks in Panama City Beach and the encircling Gulf, getting bitten is certainly very unusual, and not something that requires to be stressed about.

Hammerheads as asserted, are one of the vastly spotted species of shark off the Panama City Beach shore, but sightings alone do not imply danger levels. Hammerheads particularly are barely of any threat to humans, so this certainly is more an observation than reason for any concern.

Safety Tips

Hopefully, you can detect that you actually have no reason to stress about sharks or possible attacks when stopping in Panama City Beach. That implied, if you wish to guarantee you're doing everything you can to avoid shark attack, here are a few tips for you:

  • Swim during early hours of the day, and on regions with good visibility so that people and marine life are more feasible to be able to watch you. Provided sharks don't tend to attack people unless mistaken for different food, you don't prefer to be swimming when it's too dark for safety.
  • Avoid swim by people fishing with bait. Fishing for tinier sharks is authorized in most circumstances, and so they will be attracted by the bait, or equally by the fish being caught.
  • Take off jewelry before swimming, you might get some undesirable shark interest if your jewelry flashes or reflects sunrays underwater. This is a fundamental way shark identify victim, and they won't know the difference between fish scales and your jewellery.
  • One last step you can seize is to educate yourself with regional warning criteria in area. Panama City Beach utilizes a colour coded flag procedure to relay information to swimmers and beach goers. The significances are as follows:

Green: Low-danger, serene conditions. Swimmers should exercise conventional attention while in waters.

Yellow: Medium-hazard, average surf and/or strong currents. Swimmers should take added care in waters.

Single-red: High danger, high surf and/or strong currents. Swimming is not recommended, but not restrained.

Double red: Immediate Danger. Water closeed down for all swimmers.

Purple: Dangerous marine life present water should be maintained clear of swimmers.

FAQ 's

Are there Great White Sharks in Panama City Beach?

Great White Sharks

Great white sharks are not generally observed in the Gulf of Mexico, liking colder waters where their target of preference, the earless seal, are easier discovered. Despite that, a tagged great white recognised as Miss Costa has been coming to the region oftentimes since 2016. This sub-adult great white estimates about 12' long and spent several months sailing along the Panama City Beach coastline between January 2018 and May 2019.

Are there Hammerhead Sharks in Panama City Beach?

Hammerhead Sharks

There are 10 different kinds of hammerhead sharks, multiple of which goof off around Panama City Beach. The bonnethead, great hammerhead, and scalloped hammerhead are all regular callers to the Gulf of Mexico, reaching near to the beach as they hunt down squid, octopus, crustaceans, and fish. Although they aren't commonly hostile, hammerheads will attack if intimidated.

Is it Safe to Swim in Panama City Beach?

Most of the time, it is safe to swim here, and, when it's not, it's usually due to powerful currents, riptides, and high surf. Flags on the beach notify swimmers if there are potential threats in the region, comprising risky sea factors and potentially dangerous oceanic life, such as jellyfish, sharks, and stingrays.


Despite regular sightings in Panama City Beach, shark attacks are exceptionally rare. Guests to the region should be more careful about the potentially risky sea conditions, than the odds of a shark attack. Having said that, some of the most dangerous shark species in the world visit Panama City Beach, comprising the bull shark, the Oceanic whitetip, and the Shortfin mako.

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