© Joseph Dougherty. All rights reserved.
Tiger shark, Galeocerdo cuvier, rising from the depths off the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii.
The tiger shark is often found close to the coast, mainly in tropical and sub-tropical waters throughout the world. Along with the great white shark, Pacific sleeper shark, Greenland shark and sixgill shark, tiger sharks are among the largest extant sharks. Its behavior is primarily nomadic, but is guided by warmer currents, and it stays closer to the equator throughout the colder months. It tends to stay in deep waters that line reefs, but it does move into channels to pursue prey in shallower waters. In the western Pacific Ocean, the shark has been found as far north as Japan and as far south as New Zealand.
A number of tiger sharks can be seen at Gulf of Mexico, North American beaches and parts of South America. It is also commonly known in the Carribean Sea. Other location where tiger sharks are seen include Africa, People's Republic of China, Hong Kong, India, Australia, New Zealand and Eastern Europe.
Certain tiger sharks have been recorded at depths just shy of 900 metres (3,000 ft) but they are often observed in much shallower water, particularly if an easy prey source is nearby. A recent study showed that the average tiger shark would be recorded at 350 meters (1,100 ft), making it uncommon to see tiger sharks in shallow water. However, tiger sharks in Hawaii have been observed in depths as shallow as 10ft, and regularly observed in coastal waters at depths of 20 to 40 ft. They often visit shallow reefs, harbors and canals, creating the potential for encounters with humans.