Shark Species

Sharks, in Atlantic Canada? That's right! There are 21 reported species in our waters.

Sharks of Atlantic Canada

Twenty-eight species of shark, representing 13 families have been reported in Canadian waters. Yet, most Canadians are not aware that we have sharks in our waters at all.

In Canadian Atlantic and Arctic waters, 21 species of shark have been reported, close to half of which are considered to be globally threatened with extinction (e.g. 'vulnerable', 'endangered' or 'critically endangered') by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assessment. While 13 species are considered occasional or rare, eight species, including the basking shark, are common to Atlantic Canada. In addition to sharks, it is not unusual to have rare or migrant sightings of other animal species in this area, such as sea turtles, and even killer whales.

Below, you will find profiles on all 21 species of sharks that have been reported in Atlantic Canadian waters.

Sharks of Atlantic Canada

Common Species

Basking Shark
Black Dogfish
Blue Shark
Deepwater Catshark
Greenland Shark
Porbeagle Shark
Shortfin Mako Shark
Spiny Dogfish Shark
Thresher Shark

Occasional or Rare Species

Atlantic Sharpnose Shark
Dusky Shark
Great Lanternshark
Longfin Mako Shark
Oceanic Whitetip Shark
Portuguese Dogfish
Sand Tiger Shark
Smooth Dogfish
Smooth Hammerhead
Tiger Shark
Whale Shark
White Shark

*All shark illustrations were hand drawn by Thomas Lappano.

*Information on shark species was primarily obtained from the following sources: