Exploring Spitsbergen: Unveiling the Truth about Sharks in Svalbard

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Are you planning a trip to the North but worried about the presence of sharks in Svalbard? You’re not alone! It’s important to keep yourself informed about the geographical and biological characteristics of the region before embarking on an adventure. In this article, we will answer the question of whether Svalbard has sharks or not, and explore other fascinating facts about this breathtaking destination.

Svalbard: A Brief Introduction

Svalbard is an archipelago located in the Arctic Ocean, between Norway and the North Pole. The region is known for its rugged landscapes, dramatic glaciers, and unparalleled wildlife. It’s home to polar bears, walruses, reindeer, and other unique species that, unlike sharks, can be seen on land and water.

Despite its remote location and harsh climate, Svalbard has a thriving tourism industry that caters to intrepid travelers seeking one-of-a-kind experiences. Before delving into the topic of sharks, let’s take a quick look at some interesting facts about Svalbard:

  • Svalbard is the northernmost settlement of over 1,000 people in the world
  • There are more polar bears than people in Svalbard
  • The sun does not set for four months during summer, and it does not rise for four months during winter
  • There are no roads between settlements in Svalbard

Does Svalbard Have Sharks?

The answer to the question that brought you here is: yes, Svalbard does have sharks, but don’t let that discourage you from exploring this magical place. The most common shark species found in Svalbard’s waters are the Greenland shark and the Arctic shark. These sharks are typically found in deep waters and are not considered a threat to humans. They are slow swimmers and feed on fish, seals, and other marine animals.

It’s worth pointing out that most people who visit Svalbard don’t even get close to the sharks because they stick to the land or take boat tours that don’t venture too far into the open sea. If you are planning on going on a diving expedition or a deep-sea fishing trip, be sure to consult with a local guide who can advise you on what to expect and how to stay safe.

Other Interesting Marine Creatures You Can See in Svalbard

Svalbard’s marine fauna is not limited to sharks. If you’re a fan of marine wildlife, you’ll be amazed by the diversity of species that call Svalbard’s waters home. Here are some examples:

  • Narwhals: These unicorns of the sea are famous for their long, spiral tusks
  • Beluga whales: Nicknamed “canaries of the sea” because of their vocalizations
  • Seals: Ringed seals and bearded seals are two of the most common seal species in the region
  • Walruses: These giants of the Arctic can weigh up to 1,500 kg (3,300 lb)


We hope this article has provided you with an informative and enjoyable read. Svalbard is a unique destination that offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences to those who brave the cold and the isolation. While sharks are present in Svalbard’s waters, they are not a major concern for most visitors. Instead, you can look forward to encountering a host of other fascinating marine creatures that will make your trip unforgettable.

Stay safe, be respectful of the environment, and don’t forget to share your photos and stories with us!

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