Black tip reef shark

Blacktip Reef Shark

The blacktip reef shark is a species of requiem shark, along with Tiger Sharks, Blue Sharks and Bull Sharks. They are easily identified by the prominent black tips on its fins, especially on the first dorsal fin and the caudal fin.

Found on the tropical coral reefs of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Blacktip Reef Sharks prefer shallow, inshore waters, although they are sometimes found in brackish waters (a mixture of salt and fresh water found where rivers meet the ocean), though they cannot tolerate low salinity levels to the same degree as the bull shark.

This shark is viviparous, meaning they give birth to live young like people do. Some sharks, such as the zebra shark and dogfish, are oviparous which means that they lay eggs. Others such as the Nurse Shark and Sand Tiger Sharks, are ovo-viviparous which means that their eggs hatch inside their body and then they give birth to live young. They give birth to 2-5 young at a time.

This shark is sometimes used for its meat, fins and liver oil but is not considered to be a commercially significant species.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) rates the blacktip reef shark as Near Threatened – overfishing has led to its decline as it is a slow-reproducing species (like all sharks).

Young or small blacktip reef sharks often fall prey to larger fish such as groupers, grey reef sharks, tiger sharks or even bigger blacktip reef sharks.

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