Sharks In Greenland: Everything You Need To Know About Them

Last Updated on September 14, 2023 by Amin Tawar

Sharks In Greenland
Sharks In Greenland: Everything You Need To Know About Them

We all have seen the infamous Jaws movie which shows how a man-eating great white shark terrorizes a seaside town. There have been more such films showing how dangerous sharks are. Boy did we love those movies! 

Sharks exist in ocean and sea waters all across the globe. Although many are a threat to human life, some have been living in some of the deepest parts of the ocean inaccessible to humans. 

Here, sharks have been living without coming into contact with humans for thousands of years. One such shark is the Greenland shark. Let us look in more detail at the Greenland shark, its physical features, behaviors, and presence in Greenland.

Do Greenland Sharks Live in Greenland?

As the name suggests, yes of course Greenland sharks live in the waters around Greenland. But it doesn’t mean they are endemic to Greenland and are actually also found in other parts of the world. 

They typically can also be found in the shallow water of river mouths and bays and from there travel to the depths of the Arctic Ocean. As the winter is extremely cold in Greenland, these sharks migrate inland to seek warmer waters and come back to the depths of the ocean during summer.

Are There Great White Sharks in Greenland?

Ah, who can forget those chilling scenes of Jaws where the White Shark attacks humans? But if you are going to Greenland, you don’t have to worry about meeting this particular species of shark. The great white sharks live in temperate waters worldwide and can typically be found on coastlines. 

They are often sighted on the coasts of South Africa, the United States of America, and Australia. When we compare the climate, they need to the one around Greenland, it is pretty clear why there haven’t been any sightings of the Great White Sharks in Greenland. But note that climatic changes due to global warming and human activities have drastic effects on Greenland and the water around it. 

How Many Greenland Sharks Are Left in The World?

Sharks In Greenland
Sharks In Greenland: Everything You Need To Know About Them

Ocean is vast and a big place to take up surveys of any kind. But estimates show that there are about 7,000 to 15,000 Greenland sharks left in the world. There are many factors and reasons for their low population. 

In the past, they were extensively hunted for their liver oil, and by nature, they have a very slow metabolism and reproduction rate too due to life in the coldest depths of the sea about a massive 7200 ft under the ocean.

Also, Check Our Guide On Sharks In the Bahamas

Do Greenland Sharks Live in Antarctica & Arctic? 

As Greenland Sharks live in the Arctic Ocean and Atlantic Ocean, it is quite justifiable to say, Greenland sharks can be found in Antarctica & the artic which has these oceans around them. 

But it is important to note that there haven’t been any sightings of these creatures by the research group and people who live in Antarctica right now. It is also believed that due to the extreme cold temperature these creatures avoid traveling to poles and travel just right up to shallows in winter.

Are Greenland Sharks Protected?

These creatures have been threatened due to hunting for their liver oil. From a large Greenland Shark, about 114 liters of liver oil can be obtained. Add to this the changing climatic conditions around Greenland. 

Yes, weather and climatic conditions around the world have been changing but the greatest influence is going to be on the marine life of Greenland including Greenland sharks. Due to the many factors threatening and extensive hunting, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) declared these creatures as a near-threatened species. This listing protects them from being extensively hunted and killed.

How Dangerous Are Greenland Sharks?

Contrary to popular belief, Greenland sharks are not a threat to humans at least so far. These creatures typically inhabit deep cold waters about 7200 ft down the ocean and humans don’t often go to those depths. 

Therefore, it is quite rare for the two creatures to know and confirm their potential to kill us during encounters. Although, they can be dangerous to other small sharks and fishes.

But it is important to note that Greenland Shark skins have a high concentration of Trimethylamine N-oxide, making their meat Toxic. This is due to their adaption to living in the deepest parts of the ocean. Therefore, before consuming these sharks which some people of Ireland do, they need to be treated well to remove the toxins.

How Long Can a Greenland Shark Live?

Prepared to be shocked as these creatures are known to live for 200 to 300 years. In fact, Greenland Sharks are the longest-known living creatures with a lifespan reaching even 500 years for some. And this longevity is also one of the reasons why the conservation of Greenland Shark is extremely important.

How Big Is a Greenland Shark?

As they are able to live for hundreds of years, these creatures grow into massive sizes albeit slowly. In fact, there are some beliefs that they are one of the largest if not the largest species of sharks beating the sleeper sharks for this position. In general, these creatures can reach a length of 7 meters and weigh about a ton when fully grown.

What Does a Greenland Shark Eat?

Greenland sharks may not be a threat to humans, but they do consume a lot of other creatures. They are the apex predators in their ecosystem and are an opportunistic feeder that consumes a wide variety of pets found in their habitat. Typically, these creatures consume Arctic cod, capelin, redfish, seals, whales, and walruses.


And that was everything you need to know about the Sharks In Greenland. I hope this article answered all your queries.

Our Source For This Guide.

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