Denmark is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe. With over 7,400 km of coastline, surrounded by the waters of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, the country has some of the most beautiful beaches in the “Old World.” However, some people wonder if there are sharks in Denmark, as sightings are rare.
At least 18 species of shark were recorded in Denmark, in the waters of the North and Baltic sea. However, there is no register of attacks in the country. The most common shark species in Denmark are the Blackmouth dogfish, Starry smoothhound, Small-Spotted Catshark, and Spurdog Shark.
Swimming off the beaches of Denmark, it’s unlikely to see sharks. Eventually, some sharks wash ashore or are captured by local fishermen, but sightings are rare. However, when it comes to sharks, just because you can’t see them, it doesn’t mean they are not there. Finally, it’s important to notice that, to this day, there is no register of shark attacks in Denmark.
Keep reading to learn all about the 18 shark species in Denmark.
Are There Sharks In Denmark?
Sharks are all over the world, with more than 400 species recorded to this day (but there are probably more). As most oceans are connected through seas or channels, it’s not impossible to find pretty much all species everywhere around the globe.
However, like humans, sharks have their preferences and some places where they adapt better, whether by being native to an area or migrating to places where the conditions are better to live and reproduce. In Denmark, sharks can be found in the Baltic Sea, in the North Sea, and in the straits connecting the seas: Kattegat and Skagerrak.
There are at least 18 species of shark in Denmark, considering the waters of the North and Baltic sea. However, there is no register of attacks in the country. The most common shark species in Denmark are:
- Blackmouth dogfish
- Starry smoothhound
- Small-Spotted Catshark
- Spurdog Shark
None of these four main species are aggressive and represent almost no threat to humans. The only exception would be the Spurdog Shark, which despite not being aggressive, is a venomous species. Even so, overall, these sharks represent almost zero risk to humans.
There are some aggressive sharks in Denmark, like the Oceanic Whitetip Shark, and others that can represent some risk to humans because of their size, like Porbeagles and Smooth Hammerheads. However, human shark encounters are almost inexistent and therefore have never been an unprovoked attack in Denmark.
Related Article: Are There Sharks In The Baltic Sea? (Surprising Answer)
Denmark Sharks: Species Guide
Denmark is surrounded by the waters of the Baltic Sea, the largest semi-enclosed brackish body of water in the world, and the North Sea. Both seas are connected by two straits: Kattegat and Skagerrak.
Most species of sharks that are found in the Baltic have been recorded on the coast of Denmark or in the straits. And as the North Sea is connected to the North Atlantic, is the doorway to sea animals from all around the globe.
- Total Number of Shark Species In Denmark: 18 (At Least)
- Most Frequently Seen: Blackmouth Dogfish / Starry smoothhound
- Most Dangerous/Aggressive Species: Oceanic Whitetip Shark
- Biggest Sharks Found In Denmark: Basking Sharks (second-largest species on Earth)
In the following table, you can find a detailed description of all the species of shark in Denmark.
|Species||Scientific Name||Max Size||Aggressiveness|
|Thresher Shark||Alopias vulpinus||Up to 7.6m|
|Oceanic Whitetip Shark||Carcharhinus longimanus||Up to 4 m|
|Basking shark||Cetorhinus maximus||Up to 12 m|
|Bramble shark||Echinorhinus brucus||Up to 3.1 m|
|Velvet belly shark||Etmopterus spinax||Up to 45 cm (18 in)||Not Aggressive|
|Tope, School shark||Galeorhinus galeus||Up to 1.9 m|
|Blackmouth dogfish||Galeus melastomus||Up to 0.75 cm|
|Bluntnose sixgill shark||Hexanchus griseus||Up to 4.82 m|
(Poisonous to eat. Ref: link)
|Porbeagle||Lamna nasus||Up to 3.6 m|
|Starry smoothhound||Mustelus asterias||Up to 1.8 m|
|Angular rough shark||Oxynotus centrina||Up to 1.5 m|
|Blue shark||Prionace glauca||Up to 4 m|
(Curious, Approach Humans)
|Small-Spotted Catshark||Scyliorhinus canicula||Up to 1 m|
|Nursehound||Scyliorhinus stellaris||Up to 1.5 m|
|Greenland shark||Somniosus microcephalus||Up to 4.27 m|
(Poisonous to eat. Ref: link)
|Smooth Hammerhead||Sphyrna zygaena||Up to 5 m|
|Spurdog||Squalus acanthias||Up to 1.5 m|
|Common angel shark||Squatina squatina||Up to 1.8 m|
Related Article: Are There Sharks In The English Channel? (Full Guide)
Shark Attacks In Denmark
After extensive research, looking at every shark’s incidents database available, I could not find any attack ever registered in Denmark, provoked or unprovoked. So it’s safe to say that there have never been any recorded shark attacks in the country.
Through this research, I found two shark incidents in the Baltic Sea (Finland and Sweden) and two in the North Sea in Norway, the closest attacks to Denmark.
One of the incidents involved human remains found inside a shark near Herøy, but the data was considered invalid it was impossible to confirm shark involvement before death. The death cause was marked as a probable drowning by C. Moore, the GSAF investigator for this case.
|Jan 1 1755||Sweden||Bohuslän||Fishermen||Unprovoked||No|
|22 May 1818||Norway||Herøy||Probable Drowning||Invalid||Yes|
|18 Jul 2007||Norway||Sjøstrand||Scuba Diving||Provoked||No|
Are there great white sharks in Denmark? There is no official register of Great White sharks in Denmark. However, as it’s hard to track all the species and sea animals in the oceans, it’s not impossible for one of these ferocious predators to have been living or crossing the waters near Denmark.
Are there basking sharks in Denmark? Basking sharks can be found in Denmark. There are at least 18 species of shark in Denmark, considering the Baltic and the North Sea. One of these is the Basking Shark, the second-largest species of shark in the world, losing only to the Whale Shark.
What type of sharks are in Denmark? Denmark is home to at least 18 species of shark that can be found in the waters of the Baltic and the North Sea. The most common shark species in Denmark are the Blackmouth dogfish, Starry smoothhound, Small-Spotted Catshark, and Spurdog Shark.
- Global Shark Attack File (GSAF): https://www.sharkattackfile.net/
- Florida Museum: https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/
- International Shark Attack File (ISAF): https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/shark-attacks/
- Sharks In The Baltic (Shark Alliance): https://www.sharkadvocates.org/sharks_in_the_baltic.pdf
- Uniavisen: Giant shark met its end on Danish beach