Are There Sharks in Phuket?


With Phuket being a popular beach destination, many tourists rightly wonder - are there sharks in Phuket? While the thought of sharks may be scary, the facts about sharks in Phuket show that shark encounters are rare. Here's what you need to know about sharks around Phuket.

Shark Species in Phuket

There are over 30 shark species found in the waters off Phuket's coasts. Most species are not considered dangerous to humans. Some sharks near Phuket include:

  • Blacktip reef shark
  • Whale shark
  • Leopard shark
  • Bull shark
  • Tiger shark

The main shark species of concern is the bull shark, which is aggressive and has been involved in rare shark attacks in Thailand.

Shark Attack Risks

Statistically, shark attacks are extremely rare in Phuket. There have only been two confirmed fatal shark attacks in Phuket in the last 30 years. Sharks generally do not target humans as prey.

To minimize risks, avoid swimming near river mouths or during fishing activities where blood in the water can attract sharks.

Shark Safety Tips

Follow these tips for safe swimming in Phuket:

  • Swim at lifeguard protected beaches
  • Avoid swimming at dawn, dusk or nighttime
  • Do not enter water with open wounds
  • Avoid wearing shiny jewelry in the water

Also, do not disturb sharks in their natural habitat on scuba diving or snorkeling trips. Give them adequate space.

Encountering Sharks Safely

If you spot a shark while swimming, leave the water quickly but calmly. Do not provoke or harass the shark. Report any sightings to lifeguards or authorities.


While several species of sharks inhabit Phuket waters, the chance of a shark attack is slim. Using caution and avoiding known shark areas will help ensure a safe beach vacation. With proper precautions, you can enjoy Phuket's beautiful beaches without fearing sharks.

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