Are there sharks in Sicily? Can you bathe carefree?

Sicily, and especially the southwestern part of Sicily, is filled with places that basically beg you to bathe in their waters, drift away for a while on the Mediterranean Sea. Is entering the water a safe way of spending your free time though? Many tourists are afraid, that there may be sharks in the Sicilian waters. How many are there actually? Are there any sharks in Sicily? If so, where do they appear and when did the last attack occur?

Sharks do indeed appear near the coast of Sicily, it’s true. Generally, around Sicily and the Mediterranean Sea, there are very few occurrences of shark attacks, which does not mean that they never happen, or that there are no sharks in these waters. There are at least 47 different shark types in the Mediterranean Sea, mainly the most intelligent, and the most dangerous shark appears near Sicily – the Shortfin Mako shark.

Should you be afraid of shark attacks then? The data from 2015 is quite soothing. From 1900 to 2015, there were 50 total, unprovoked shark attacks on people in Italy, from which only 3 were in Sicily. 11 shark attacks ended fatally in Italy, one of which was in Sicily. These are extremely rare cases. We can add 4 provoked attacks to the total count.

The most recent attack occurred on 1st of July, 1985, near Punta Secca, on the southern part of Sicily. If any sharks were to be spotted near Sicily, the local authorities will swiftly inform everyone potentially endangered. In such a case, red flags are placed along the coast, informing about the strict ban on entering the water. Obviously, going out to the sea by boat or a jetski is also forbidden. In reality, you should be more afraid of the amount of mosquitoes, as these you’re sure to encounter.

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