How Dangerous Is a Nurse Shark Attack?

There are no documented cases of fatal nurse shark attacks in United States territorial waters. Nurse sharks have strong jaws and can deliver a painful bite when provoked but are generally docile.

Nurse sharks are slow-moving bottom feeders found in warm shallow waters in the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific oceans. They can grow up to 14 feet long. They are nocturnal and feed on crustaceans, tunicates, mollusks, fish, shrimp and squid. Their jaws are strong enough to crush shellfish and coral and can also exert powerful suction. Nurse sharks typically bite when stepped on or when provoked by being teased, prodded or tugged at.