Tag: Bull Shark (Carcharhinus leucas)

At over 3m in length when fully grown, the Bull Shark (Carcharhinus leucas) is probably the largest predatory fish species found in local waters.

Although fairly common in the past, encounters with Bull Sharks could now be considered rare at most local diving and snorkelling locations due to overfishing and habitat destruction.

Whilst juveniles and small adults can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from their close relatives within the requiem shark family (Carcharhinidae), such as the Grey Reef Shark (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos), adults have an almost unmistakeably "heavy set" appearance.

Although Bull Sharks are often associated with shallow inshore reef areas, or even lakes and rivers due to their tolerance to fresh water, they are rarely, if ever, reported close to shore around the islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan or Koh Tao. Instead, they are most frequently observed at Chumphon Pinnacles, located to the North West of Koh Tao (although these sightings have seemingly become rarer of the past few years).

More recently, since around July 2012, a small group of Bull Sharks took up residency at Sail Rock.

This small group appeared to consist of perhaps 5 or 6 individuals or varying size, with at least 2 mature adults (at least one of which was confirmed as female).

Due to their size and power, Bull Sharks are rather indiscriminate and opportunistic feeders, and have been responsible for a large number of unprovoked attacks on humans (although rarely on divers!). However few, if any attacks have been reported in the local area, despite the thousands of swimmers and divers that venture into the ocean year-round.

At over 3m in length when fully grown, the Bull Shark (Carcharhinus leucas) is probably the largest predatory fish species found in local waters.

Although fairly common in the past, encounters with Bull Sharks could now be considered rare at most local diving and snorkelling locations due to overfishing and habitat destruction.

Whilst juveniles and small adults can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from their close relatives within the requiem shark family (Carcharhinidae), such as the Grey Reef Shark (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos), adults have an almost unmistakeably "heavy set" appearance.

Although Bull Sharks are often associated with shallow inshore reef areas, or even lakes and rivers due to their tolerance to fresh water, they are rarely, if ever, reported close to shore around the islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan or Koh Tao. Instead, they are most frequently observed at Chumphon Pinnacles, located to the North West of Koh Tao (although these sightings have seemingly become rarer of the past few years).

More recently, since around July 2012, a small group of Bull Sharks took up residency at Sail Rock.

This small group appeared to consist of perhaps 5 or 6 individuals or varying size, with at least 2 mature adults (at least one of which was confirmed as female).

Due to their size and power, Bull Sharks are rather indiscriminate and opportunistic feeders, and have been responsible for a large number of unprovoked attacks on humans (although rarely on divers!). However few, if any attacks have been reported in the local area, despite the thousands of swimmers and divers that venture into the ocean year-round.

Alan's picture
Bull Sharks (Carcharhinus Leucas) cruise past Sail Rock's "Batfsh Pinnacle"

A very close encounter with a pair of the "resident" Bull Sharks (Carcharhinus Leucas) beside Sail Rock's "Batfish Pinnacle".

Alan's picture
Bull Shark (Carcharhinus Leucas)

One of the small group of Bull Sharks (Carcharhinus Leucas) that suddenly appeared at Sail Rock around July 2012.