Are There Sharks In Fiji Waters? (Detailed)

Fiji is renowned for its crystal-clear waters, stunning coral reefs, and abundant marine life. However, for some people, the thought of swimming or diving in Fiji’s waters can be daunting due to concerns about shark attacks. But are there sharks in Fiji Waters?

Fiji is home to at least 17 species of sharks, including Bull sharks, Tiger sharks, Hammerhead sharks, and Reef sharks. The two most common sharks in Fiji waters are the Whitetip and Blacktip Reef sharks. However, it is important to note that shark attacks in Fiji are rare, and most encounters between humans and sharks are peaceful.

In this post, I’ve prepared a closer look at the types of sharks found in Fiji’s waters, explored the frequency of shark attacks in the region, and provided some tips for staying safe while enjoying Fiji’s natural beauty. By the end of this post, you’ll better understand the realities of shark encounters in Fiji and be better equipped to make informed decisions about your water-based activities.

To learn all about sharks in Fiji Waters, read on.

Are There Sharks In Fiji Waters? (Species Guide)

Are There Sharks In Fiji Waters?

Fiji is a tropical paradise known for its crystal-clear waters, stunning coral reefs, and abundant marine life, including sharks. With 17 of the world’s 29 known species of sharks commonly found in tropical waters, Fiji offers a unique opportunity for shark enthusiasts to witness these incredible creatures up close. As there are no boundaries between oceans and branches of the sea, it is quite possible that other species of shark can be living in Fiji.

In this guide, I’ve focused on 17 species recorded in Fiji. To help you better understand these fascinating animals, I’ve compiled a table of the most common shark species found in Fiji, including their scientific names, maximum size in feet and meters, and their assessed aggressiveness towards humans.

SpeciesScientific NameMax SizeAggressiveness
Bull SharkCarcharhinus leucas3.3 m / 11 ftVery Aggressive
(Extremely Dangerous)
Tiger SharkGaleocerdo cuvier4.9 m / 16 ftVery Aggressive
(Extremely Dangerous)
Great Hammerhead SharkSphyrna mokarran6.1 m / 20 ftAggressive
(Potentially Dangerous)
Whitetip Reef SharkTriaenodon obesus1.5 m / 5 ftNot Aggressive
Blacktip Reef SharkCarcharhinus melanopterus1.7 m / 5.5 ftNot Aggressive
Silvertip SharkCarcharhinus albimarginatus3 m / 10 ftAggressive
(Potentially Dangerous)
Lemon SharkNegaprion brevirostris3.4 m / 11 ftNot Aggressive
Nurse SharkGinglymostoma cirratum4.3 m / 14 ftNot Aggressive
Grey Reef SharkCarcharhinus amblyrhynchos2.4 m / 8 ftNot Aggressive
Scalloped HammerheadSphyrna lewini4.3 m / 14 ftAggressive
(Potentially Dangerous)
Thresher SharkAlopias vulpinus6.1 m / 20 ftNot Aggressive
Oceanic Whitetip SharkCarcharhinus longimanus4 m / 13 ftVery Aggressive
Blacktip SharkCarcharhinus limbatus2.4 m / 8 ftNot Aggressive
Bullhead SharkHeterodontus francisci0.9 m / 3 ftNot Aggressive
Blue SharkPrionace glauca3.7 m / 12 ftNot Aggressive
(Potentially Dangerous)
Dusky SharkCarcharhinus obscurus4.3 m / 14 ftNot Aggressive
(Potentially Dangerous)
Spinner SharkCarcharhinus brevipinna2.7 m / 9 ftNot Aggressive

If you want an even more complete version of this article, with a different approach to sharks in Fiji, check this other post in the blog.

Related Article: Are There Sharks In Fiji? (Detailed Guide)

The 7 Most Common Sharks In Fiji Waters

Are There Sharks In Fiji Waters?

Sharks may have a bit of a reputation as fearsome creatures. Still, they’re also fascinating and essential parts of the ocean ecosystem, and Fiji’s waters are teeming with an incredible array of shark species just waiting to be discovered.

From the sleek and speedy Whitetip and Blacktip Reef sharks to the majestic (and ferocious) Tiger shark, these creatures will surely make your heart race (in the best way possible). There are at least 17 sharks in the region, but now, let’s dive into the 7 Most Common Shark Species you might encounter in the paradisiac Fiji waters.

Whitetip Reef Shark (Triaenodon obesus)

One of Fiji’s most common reef sharks, the Whitetip Reef Shark is found in shallow waters near coral reefs. They typically grow to a maximum length of 5 feet (1.5 meters) and are known for their slender bodies and distinctive white-tipped fins. The Somosomo Strait and the Bligh Waters are popular areas to spot these sharks.

Blacktip Reef Shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus)

Another common reef shark in Fiji, the Blacktip Reef shark, is named for its distinctive black-tipped fins. They typically grow to a maximum length of 5.5 feet (1.7 meters) and are found in shallow waters near coral reefs. The Somosomo Strait, the Bligh Waters, and the Beqa Lagoon are popular areas to spot these sharks.

Tiger Shark (Galeocerdo cuvier)

One of the larger shark species found in Fiji, the tiger shark can grow up to 16 feet (4.9 meters) in length. They are known for their distinct striped patterns and are found in both shallow and deep waters. While tiger sharks are not typically aggressive toward humans, they are known to be curious and cautious creatures. The Great Astrolabe Reef, the Beqa Lagoon, and the Yasawa Islands are common areas to spot these sharks.

Bull Shark (Carcharhinus leucas)

The bull shark is known for its aggressive behavior and is responsible for many shark attacks worldwide. They can grow up to 11 feet (3.3 meters) in length and are found in fresh and saltwater environments. In Fiji, bull sharks are commonly found in the Beqa Lagoon, the Rewa River, and the Navua River.

Great Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrna mokarran)

One of the largest hammerhead shark species, the great hammerhead can grow up to 20 feet (6.1 meters) in length. They are typically found in deeper waters and are known for their unique hammer-shaped heads. While not naturally dangerous to humans, they can be aggressive when provoked. The Great Astrolabe Reef, the Kadavu Island Group, and the Bligh Waters are great spots to see these sharks.

Scalloped Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrna lewini)

Another hammerhead shark species found in Fiji, the scalloped hammerhead, can grow up to 14 feet (4.3 meters) in length. They are typically found in deeper waters and are known for their distinctive scalloped-shaped heads. These enormous animals are not very aggressive but can be considered potentially dangerous to humans because its size and power. Popular areas to spot these sharks include the Great Astrolabe Reef, the Kadavu Island Group, and the Bligh Waters.

Oceanic Whitetip Shark (Carcharhinus longimanus)

The Oceanic Whitetip shark is a larger species found in Fiji, with a maximum length of 13 feet (4 meters). They are typically found in open waters and are known for their unique white-tipped fins. These sharks species are very curious and can show aggressive behavior towards humans. They have been known to approach boats and are considered a potential threat in certain situations. The most common areas to see these sharks include the Great Astrolabe Reef, the Kadavu Island Group, and the Bligh Waters.

If you’re planning a trip to Fiji, don’t miss the opportunity to witness these incredible creatures in their natural habitat. With the proper guidance and precautions, shark encounters can be thrilling and educational experiences that will stay with you forever. In the following section, I’ve prepared a complete guide with The Best Shark Experiences in Fiji Waters for you.

Related Article: Are There Sharks In Alcatraz? (Complete Guide)

The Best Shark Experiences In Fiji Waters

If you’re looking for an unforgettable encounter with sharks in Fiji’s waters, you’re in luck. There are a variety of shark experiences available for visitors, including diving, cage diving, snorkeling, and shark-watching tours. Here are some of the best shark experiences in Fiji:

  • Shark diving in Beqa Lagoon: This area is known as the “Shark Capital of the World” and offers some of Fiji’s best shark diving experiences. You can encounter up to eight shark species, including the majestic Tiger Shark.
  • Shark feeding at Shark Reef Marine Reserve: This is a unique opportunity to witness the behavior of sharks during a feeding session. You can observe the interaction of multiple species of sharks up close.
  • Shark snorkeling at Shark Alley: This is a more laid-back option for those who don’t want to dive. You can snorkel with friendly whitetip reef sharks in a protected cove.
  • Shark cage diving at Pacific Harbour: This is a thrilling option for those who want to get up close and personal with sharks in a safe and controlled environment. You can encounter bull sharks and other species from the safety of a cage.

When embarking on a shark experience in Fiji, it’s important to choose a reputable operator and follow all safety guidelines. Remember to respect these incredible creatures and their natural habitat. In the end of this article you can find helpful links to these activities.

Are There Shark Attacks In Fiji Waters? (Research)

Fiji Waters is home to several shark species, and while shark attacks are relatively rare in the country, they do occur. I’ve recently researched Global Shark Attack File (GSAF) extensively and discovered that Fiji is the 11th place in the world with the most shark attacks, with 23 casualties since 1839. It’s important to note that these statistics are based on reported incidents, and not all shark attacks may be reported.

  • Total Shark Attacks In Fiji Waters: 69
  • Provoked Attacks: 3
  • Unprovoked Attacks: 61
  • Invalid Data: 1 (Shark involvement not confirmed)
  • Sea Disaster/Watercraft: 4
  • Fatal Attacks: 23

Most shark attacks in Fiji waters involve surfers, but there have also been cases of swimmers, snorkelers, and spearfishers being attacked, among other activities. The majority of these incidents involve Bull Sharks and Tiger Sharks, which are known to be more aggressive towards humans compared to other species. In the following table, you can see all the attacks reported in Fiji to this day.

Incident Reported DateAreaLocationActivityIncident TypeFatal? (Y/N)
02-Mar-2020Vanua LevuTawake, CakaudroveSpearfishingUnprovokedN
16-Aug-2019Vanua LevuSpearfishingUnprovokedN
17-May-2019BeqaScuba divingUnprovokedN
23-Sep-2018Vanua LevuCakau LevuDivingProvokedN
10-Mar-2016Vanua LevuDawaraDivingUnprovokedY
16-May-2012Matacucu ReefSpearfishingUnprovokedN
08-Apr-2011Vitu LevuMalake IslandDivingUnprovokedN
21-Mar-2011NukudamuDiving / fishingUnprovokedN
17-Dec-2010Vitu LevuSigatokaSurfingUnprovokedN
15-Feb-2010Off Vanua LevuNara ReefScuba divingUnprovokedY
14-May-2008Yasawa IslandsTurtle IslandNight divingUnprovokedY
18-Mar-2006Vitu LevuSigatokaSurfingUnprovokedN
11-Feb-2002Cikobia IslandUnprovokedY
12-Dec-2000TaveuniGarden Island ResortSwimmingUnprovokedY
15-Jun-1997TaveuniGarden Island ResortSnorkelingUnprovokedN
24-May-1995Yasawa IslandsWaya IslandSleeping in boatUnprovokedY
12-Nov-1992Wakaya IslandScuba divingUnprovokedN
24-Mar-1990Laucala IslandSwimmingUnprovokedN
02-Feb-1988Vanua LevuDivingUnprovokedN
23-Jun-1964Lau GroupTotoya IslandSpearfishingUnprovokedN
08-May-1964Vita LevuNavitiSpearfishingUnprovokedY
17-Feb-1964Savuli ReefFishingProvokedN
14-Feb-1964Vanua LevuNailou VillageSpearfishingUnprovokedY
27-Jan-196470 miles from SuvaSpearfishingUnprovokedY
04-Jan-1964Lomaloma, LauTuvuca IsalndSwimmingUnprovokedN
28-Nov-1963Lau ProvinceDravuwalu, Totoya IslandFishingUnprovokedN
25-Nov-1963Vita LevuRewa RiverSpearing fishUnprovokedN
08-Feb-1963Lomaiviti IslandGau IslandSpearfishingUnprovokedN
1963Vita LevuKorolevuUnprovokedUNKNOWN
May 1962Viti LevuNear SuvaFishingWatercraftN
Mar-196119S, 178?EWotua BeachFloating on backUnprovokedN
Apr-1960Vanua LevuBua coastFishingUnprovokedY
1960-1961Viti LevuCovull ReefSpearfishingUnprovokedN
02-Oct-1959Lomaiviti ProvinceOvalau IslandDived overboardUnprovokedY
Oct-1959KadavuAstrolabe ReefSpearfishingUnprovokedN
24-Feb-1957Viti LevuSuva HarborSpearfishingUnprovokedN
1957KadavuAstrolabe ReefFishingUnprovokedN
Ca. 1950Near LautokaUnprovokedN
21-Mar-1938Viti LevuSingatoka RiverWadingUnprovokedN
26-Sep-1932Viti Levu IslandNavuaCatching a turtleUnprovokedN
20-Jun-1932Yasawa IslandsNabukeruFree divingUnprovokedY
28-Jul-1931Viti Levu IslandTamavua RiverSwimmingUnprovokedN
05-Jan-1929Viti Levu IslandSuva HarborDivingUnprovokedY
Oct-1927A riverCollecting bananasUnprovokedN
1925Viti Levu IslandSuva HarborDivingUnprovokedN
15-Nov-1921Viti Levu IslandRewa RiverSwimmingUnprovokedY
13-Jan-1912Viti Levu groupBeqaWashed overboardUnprovokedY
13-Apr-1898MualaSea DisasterN
06-Sep-1894Vita LevuRewa RiverDangling feetUnprovokedN
23-May-1893Kadavu & BeqaCanoe swampedUnprovokedY
30-Aug-1879Lau GroupTotoyaSea DisasterN
15-Dec-1877Sea DisasterY
11-Mar-1877Viti Levu IslandRewa RiverUnprovokedN
28-Jan-1872Lomaiviti ProvineOvalau Islandboat capsizedInvalid
1840Viti Levu IslandRewaUnprovokedN
1839Viti Levu IslandRewaUnprovokedN
1958Kadavu Island18.8S, 178.25ESwimmingUnprovokedN
1917Moala IslandWrecked canoeUnprovokedY

Shark Attacks In Fijian Rivers

Interestingly, there have also been reports of shark attacks in rivers in Fiji. Bull sharks have been known to swim up rivers, and there have been attacks on people fishing or swimming. You can check a tragic double death story in a Fijian River by clicking here.

Related Article: Are There Sharks In Cancun? (Detailed Research)

What Are The Odds? (Shark Attacks)

However, it’s worth noting that the risk of a shark attack in Fiji waters is still relatively low. According to the International Shark Attack File, the odds of dying from a shark attack are 1 in 11.5 million. To put that into perspective, here’s a comparison with other causes of death:

Cause of DeathOdds of Dying
Shark attack1 in 11.5 million
Car accident1 in 107
Drowning1 in 1,133
Obesity1 in 240
Being struck by lightning1 in 138,849

As you can see, the odds of dying from a shark attack are significantly lower than other common causes of death. That being said, taking precautions when swimming or diving in the ocean is always important. Avoid swimming alone, especially during dawn or dusk when sharks are more active, and don’t wear shiny jewelry or brightly colored clothing that may attract sharks.

If you’re going on a shark diving or snorkeling tour, choose a reputable company that follows safety guidelines and respects the animals’ habitat. In summary, while shark attacks occur in Fiji waters, the risk is still relatively low. By taking proper precautions and respecting the animals’ habitat, visitors can safely enjoy the beautiful waters of Fiji.

Related Questions

Are sharks a problem in Fiji? Sharks are not considered a major problem in Fiji. While shark attacks occur, they are rare, and most sharks in Fiji waters are not aggressive toward humans. Shark diving and snorkeling tours are popular in Fiji, and operators take precautions to ensure the safety of participants.

Is it safe to swim in Fiji waters? As a general rule, it’s safe to swim in Fiji waters. However, it’s important to be aware of potential hazards such as strong currents, jellyfish, and sea snakes and to follow safety guidelines. Some beaches may have warning signs in place if particular hazards are present.

Are sharks common in Fiji? Sharks are very common in Fiji. A great variety of shark species are found in Fiji Waters, including the Whitetip Reef shark, Blacktip Reef shark, and some more ferocious species, such as Bull sharks and Tiger sharks. Bull sharks can also be found in some Fijian rivers.

Are there sharks in Fiji rivers? Bull sharks have been known to swim in some of Fiji’s rivers, particularly in areas where the river meets the ocean. There are even records of shark attacks in rivers. However, these occurrences are rare and are typically not considered a significant concern.

Does Fiji have great white sharks? Great white sharks are not commonly found in Fiji’s waters, although there have been occasional sightings. These sharks’ prevalence in any area can vary depending on various factors.


André Bonassoli

What’s up guys. I’m André, and I've been passionate about Sharks for as long as I can remember! I’ve created this site to share different things with you that I’ve learned and am constantly learning. Whether you're just here with some simple questions or you're passionate about Sharks as well, I'm glad you're here!

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