Shark Series – The Lemon Shark

Shark Series – The Lemon Shark

Lemon shark

A lemon shark resting on the bottom - Credit: Greg Amptman

Here's all you need to know about the Lemon Shark

It's closely related to the great white sharks.

Lemon sharks are sturdy, powerful and can grow up to 3 meters (10 feet).

But relax and do not panic when you see one during your dive.

Lemon sharks do not attack humans.

Identifying Marks / Features

You can easily distinguish lemon sharks since they have a yellow body coloring, a flattened head with a short and broad snout. Lemon sharks have two dorsal fins which almost have the same size. In other sharks, the first dorsal fin is usually larger than the second dorsal fin.

Where to dive with lemon sharks

Click the picture to learn why Sharks are acting like they are - Credit: Greg Amptman

Where to Dive with Lemon SharksWhere to find lemon shark

Lemon sharks thrive in the sub-tropical region. They can be found in the southeastern and western Atlantic Ocean and in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Lemon sharks are usually found in groups occupying shallow reefs and mangrove areas. They were also recorded to be found in the deep ocean. Just as the bull sharks, lemon sharks swim upstream in freshwater rivers, but they tend to stay near the river mouths.

Underwater Interaction: Diving with Lemon Sharks

Ideally, interacting with lemon sharks should be done while observing them in their natural state. However as shark feeding is fast becoming a popular underwater experience, lemon sharks can now be fed underwater. But there is a growing debate as to whether shark feeding is good or bad.

Scuba Diving with Lemon Shark at the reef

Click the picture to read more about the impact of the reef - Credit: Moize nicolas

Conservation Status

Lemon sharks are targeted by commercial and recreational fishermen primarily due to their highly prized fins. Their meat is also in high demand and has been a delicacy in many areas. Further, the continuing destruction of habitat has led to the severe decline of lemon shark population. Many sharks are killed due to the massive demand of shark fins.

These entire disturbances have placed Lemon Sharks as a Threatened Species under the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Lemon shark close up

Greg Amptman

Before you plunge, get wet and interact with lemon sharks and other marine animals, we will leave you with this point to ponder:


Is wild observation and interaction of lemon sharks (without the use of shark feeding) becoming more difficult to experience?

Have you encountered a lemon shark? How was your interaction? Share us your thoughts in a comment below!

You can also read our related article on The Truth about Sharks.

About The Author

Torben Lonne

Torben is a top skilled PADI MSDT instructor. He has worked several years with scuba diving in Indonesia and Thailand – and dived most of his life in most of the world.

He is also the co-founder and chief-editor of you can always catch him here [email protected]

1 Comment

  1. G Price

    We saw a lemon shark today at Buck Island in St. Croix. We watched him swim past us, and took a few photos, but mostly we just felt full of awe and happiness.


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