San Andreas & Vice City
Even although not as common as most sea creatures, sharks can be spotted in the waters of San Andreas and Vice City, mostly in the Pacific Ocean in San Andreas and everywhere in the waters of Vice City, and in both games they can sometimes be mistaken by dolphins. They do not take damage when shot at, and like other marine animals in GTA San Andreas and Vice City, they don't move when they swim.
The easiest way to spot a shark is to just search the water for it, preferably through a Sniper Rifle. They however do not appear as frequently as other marine animals. There is a frequent myth which claims sharks attack players, yet this is wrong. Like other marine animals, sharks don't attack the player, and as a matter of fact they swim away when approached.
Sharks are also mentioned in the 10th page of the GTA Vice City manual:
"Shark attacks off Vice City happen a few times a year and there are more sharks out there than you would like to think - Best advice: Stay out of the water!"
This might suggest that sharks could have been used as an excuse for the player's inability to swim in Vice City.
First revealed in the prerelease screenshot on the right, sharks will appear in waters around San Andreas. It has been confirmed that sharks will attack the players if they get too close, but given that Rockstar mentioned they would be exploring the undersea with a much greater detail in V and that a small submarine was also seen in the pre-release screenshots, the first option is the most likely one. Getting attacked by a shark also unlocks the "Out of your depth" achievement. Sharks appear on the player's minimap as a red dot (enemy) and like to circle the player for a while before attacking. If the player is on the surface they can sometimes see the shark's fin sticking out the water as it circles. Sharks can be killed if the player is on a boat and shoots one, which only takes two shots with the 50. pistol. They can be killed in the water by repeatedly attacking it with a knife.