7 Sharks Near Georgia’s Coast

Written by Emilio Brown
Updated: November 12, 2022
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Located in the southeastern United States, Georgia is one of the many states in the US that has access to the ocean. You can find a variety of animals in Georgia, like snakes, spiders, scorpions, and much more. The coastline in Georgia runs around 110 miles long, giving the state access to the vast sea, and all the animals within it. One of the animals lurking in the ocean blue are sharks, and in this article, we will cover 7 sharks near Georgia’s coast. 

Over 500 different species of sharks inhabit the earth’s ocean and can be found in various depths and waters of the sea. Let’s take a look at 7 sharks near Georgia’s coast that are lurking in the waters. 

What Ocean is Near Georgia?

The Atlantic Ocean is the sea that borders the coastline of Georgia. Stretching 110 miles long, the Georgia coastline is located in the state’s southeastern corner. The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world and covers around 20 percent of the earth’s water surface.

At around 41.1 million square miles large, the Atlantic Ocean is home to a variety of life that lives in the sea. Sharks are just one of the 33,000 types of fish in the world and the largest. Sharks are dominant predators of the sea and help maintain balance in the oceanic ecosystem. The Atlantic Ocean has many species of sharks in its waters, and here are a few that may swim near Georgia’s coast. 

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 Sharks Near Georgia’s Coast

1. Atlantic Sharpnose Shark (Rhizoprionodon terraenovae) 

Atlantic Sharpnose Shark
Atlantic sharpnose sharks are very common on the coast of Georgia.

©Finley Del/Shutterstock.com

The Atlantic sharpnose shark is one of the most common species of shark that lives on the coast of Georgia. This small species is mainly found in the coastal waters on the eastern North American coast. Fully grown Atlantic sharpnose sharks grow to around 3-4 feet and have gray coloring. This species prefers to live in warm, shallow coastal waters. The snout of this shark is long, with a sharp point. 

Fishermen commonly reel in this shark from the coast and are active year-round. Atlantic sharpnose sharks are smaller predators that feed on animals like fish and shrimp. They may come in contact with humans often, but most bites are rarely fatal or serious. 

2. Blacktip Shark (Carcharhinus limbatus)

Most aggressive sharks - blacktip shark
Blacktip sharks are found all year round on Georgia’s coast.

©Gino Santa Maria/Shutterstock.com

The dark coloring on the tips of the fin of the blackfin shark is where this species gets its name. This species can be found year-round on Georgia’s coast and other areas in the eastern US ocean. Blacktip sharks grow up to 6 feet large and are smaller sharks that weigh up to 150 lbs. This species lives in shallow waters and reef habitats. It can tolerate freshwater but never goes too far from the ocean. 

Blacktip sharks are carnivorous predators that feed on reef fish and smaller animals like mollusks and crustaceans. Blacktip sharks are scared of humans, but attacks may occur if food is nearby. 

3. Lemon Sharks (Negaprion brevirostris)

Lemon Shark
Lemon sharks return to the same place to breed each year.

©iStock.com/uwimages

Lemons sharks inhabit the coastal waters in Georgia and prefer to live in shallow subtropical waters. This species is nocturnal like most sharks and rely on sea life like fish and crustaceans. Lemon sharks have a yellow tint to their brown or olive-colored skin. This species is one of the few sharks that may live in groups, with a potential of up to 20 members in their pack. 

Lemon sharks grow to around 8 to 10 feet large, with the largest ever recorded, reaching 12.1 feet in size. They are not known to be aggressive. They have poor vision, and like other sharks, they have electroreceptors that help them track prey.

4. Bull Shark (Carcharhinus leucas)

What do bull sharks eat - face close up
The bull shark is an aggressive shark.

©Havoc/Shutterstock.com

The bull shark is one of the many species of shark that live near Georgia’s coast and live in coastal waters around the world. Bull sharks grow between 7 to 12 feet large and weigh between 200 to 500 lbs. Gray in color, they have sharp teeth that grow to around an inch large. Bull sharks have an aggressive nature and will even headbutt prey before attacking them. This shark can even live in freshwater habitats and has been found in creeks near the ocean in Georgia. 

Bull sharks are predators that feed on bony fish, smaller sharks, and animals like stingrays. They may dwell in shallow waters and are one of the most common sharks that attack humans. Bull sharks are a vulnerable species, due to pollution and hunting by poachers. 

5. Bonnethead Shark (Sphyrna tiburo)

bonnethead shark
Bonnethead sharks are omnivores.

©IrinaK/Shutterstock.com

The bonnethead shark lives in the warm and temperate waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. The head of this species is crescent-shaped. Brownish in color, this species is the smallest in the hammerhead shark family and has a maximum length of around 4 feet. Bonnethead sharks are shy and rarely bite humans. 

What makes bonnethead sharks different from the other species on the Georgia coast is that this shark is an omnivorous species. This shark feeds on animals like small fish, crabs, and mollusks, but it will also feed on plant life like seaweed or seagrass. Areas in the ocean with lots of seagrasses and sea life to feed on are where this shark lives. 

6. Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias)

Great White shark breaching
Great white sharks are fierce predators on the coast of Georgia.

©Jayaprasanna T.L/Shutterstock.com

The great white shark is one of the most well-known shark species. Catches and sightings of massive great whites have occurred throughout history on the coast of Georgia. This large predator grows between 13 to 21 feet long and is a heavy fish weighing between 4,200 to 5,000 lbs. 

Great white sharks are fierce predators and can trace the smell of blood up to .25 miles away. They have up to 300 teeth placed in several rows in their mouth. Various things like their speed, strength, and size make them deadly predators. Seals and sea mammals make up the majority of their diet. The coloring of this shark is gray, which helps them blend into the sea floor when swimming. 

Attacks from this shark on the Georgia coast are rare, but great whites account for the most attacks. Most great white attacks occur since this shark has poor eyesight, and they attack humans, mistaking them for large sea mammals. 

7. Tiger Shark (Galeocerdo cuvier)

Largest Tiger Shark - tiger shark's distinctive feature
The tiger shark gets its name from the vertical lines that run along the side of its body.

©iStock.com/Divepic

One of the largest species of shark in the Atlantic, tiger sharks inhabit the waters near Georgia. Tropical and temperate waters are where this shark is most common. Tiger sharks get their name from the black markings that appear on their body, slightly resembling a tiger. Growing between 10 to 14 feet long, this species is able to weigh up to 2000lbs. The average weight of this predator ranges between 850 to 1400 lbs, and females grow larger than males. 

Going up to depths of 460 feet in the ocean, tiger sharks have been seen to also swim in waters as shallow as 10 feet deep. They will gladly swim in shallow coastal waters or out in the open sea. An abundance of food is preferred by this shark in the area it lives, and it will eat almost anything it comes across. An apex predator in its habitat, tiger sharks feed on things like sea birds, smaller sharks, fish, crabs, sea mammals, and other things they may find. 

Are Shark Attacks Common in Georgia? 

Shark attacks in Georgia are extremely rare, with less than 20 attacks occurring within the last 100 years. The last fatal shark attack in Georgia was in 1974, which was an unprovoked attack done by a group of smaller sharks. A rare occurrence altogether, shark attacks are nothing to worry about in the state. 

Florida is the state with the most shark attacks, and on average, there are around 25 attacks yearly. You may think since Georgia is right next to Florida, there is an abundance of shark attacks in the water, but they are not as common in Georgia.

Shark attacks in Georgia are extremely rare occurrences. As of Aug. 1, 2022, there have been a total of 28 attacks in the US, with none of them happening in Georgia. None of the attacks as of yet have been fatal.


The Featured Image

What Do Great White Sharks Eat?
Great white sharks eat seals, sea lions, dolphins, and fish, among other animals. They are carnivores
© iStock.com/atese

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About the Author

Spiders, snakes, and lizards are my favorite types of animals, and I enjoy keeping some species as pets. I love learning about the various wonders nature has to offer and have been a writer for 5 years. In my spare time, you can find me getting out into nature.

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