The Nature Foundation monitors sightings of shark and ray species on St. Maarten’s dive sites, providing insight into species presence, abundance and seasonal patterns and contributing to the preservation of sharks.

divers with shark awareness and sign under water
Divers posing with #sharkstrong banner and small shark underwater

Tourists come to St. Maarten for our healthy reefs and our sharks and this generates income for everybody living on this island. Therefore a shark is far more worth alive ($250,000) than dead ($50) over its lifetime. When seeing a shark, you shouldn’t be afraid, sharks are in no way dangerous for humans. It is a wonderful experience and completely safe to dive, snorkel and swim with sharks.

It is very likely to see sharks when scuba diving on St. Maarten, most of the shark species are sighted in the Man of War Shoal Marine Park. You will mainly see Caribbean Reef Sharks and Nurse Sharks, and occasionally Hammerhead sharks are sighted.

Shark Sightings

graph with shark sightings
Shark Sightings per dive (march 2018) St Maarten (Source:

Ray Sightings

graph with ray sightings
Ray Sightings per dive (march 2018) St Maarten (Source: