Blacktip Reef Shark
Family: Carcharhinidae (requiem sharks) 60 species worldwide. Migratory, live-bearing sharks of warm seas (sometimes of brackish or fresh water).
Size: Up to 1.6 metres
Distribution: The blacktip reef shark is found throughout nearshore waters of the tropical and subtropical Indo-Pacific.
Status: Near Threatened
Habitat: Among the most abundant sharks inhabiting the tropical coral reefs of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, this species prefers shallow, inshore waters. Blacktip reef sharks have extremely small home ranges and exhibit strong site fidelity, remaining within the same local area for up to several years at a time.
About the Blacktip Reef Shark
Easily identified by the prominent black tips on its fins (especially on the first dorsal fin and its caudal fin). Its exposed first dorsal fin is a common sight in the region. Timid and skittish, the blacktip reef shark is difficult to approach and seldom poses a danger to humans unless roused by food. However, people wading through shallow water are at risk of having their legs mistakenly bitten. This shark is used for its meat, fins, and liver oil, but is not considered to be a commercially significant species.
Along with the grey reef shark (C. amblyrhinchos) and the whitetip reef shark (Triaenodon obesus), the blacktip reef shark is one of the three most common sharks inhabiting coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific. This species predominates in shallow habitats, while the other two are mostly found deeper.
Photo: Sydney Aquarium. High Resolution 2920 x 1808.
Photo: Sydney Aquarium. High Resolution 3288 x 2156.
Photo: Sydney Aquarium. High Resolution 3724 x 2364.