BLACKTIP SHARK

Carcharhinus limbatus
Family: Carcharhinidae

Description: Grey-brown in color with white counter shading on ventral side. Prominent white band along flank. Black markings usually found on first and second dorsal, pectoral, pelvic, anal, and lower caudal fin tips, although some adults lack black markings. Other characteristics include small eyes, long gill slits, and a long, narrow pointed snout. No interdorsal ridge present.

Distribution and Habitat: Occurs in warm temperate, subtropical, and tropical waters typically around continental shelves, although it is occasionally found around oceanic islands. Blacktips typically inhabit coastal waters around estuaries, shallow muddy bays, saline mangrove swamps, island lagoons and coral reef drop-offs. While they are not found in freshwater, they are able to tolerate reduced salinity. Rarely found in water deeper than 30 meters.

Size: Maximum recorded size is 255 cm total length. Size at birth is typically 38-72 cm total length.

Reproduction: Viviparous with a yolk-sac placenta. Litter size of 1-11 pups, usually 4-7. Gestation period of 10-12 months during alternate years. The size at which males and females reach sexual maturity is dependent on location. Generally, females will mature around 150-156 cm total length (6-7 years), and males will reach maturity at 130-145 cm total length (4-5 years).

Life span: lives for about 9-10 years.

Diet: Boney fishes, cephalopods and crustaceans such as shrimp and crabs.

Status: Near threatened.

Human pressures: a targeted species by both recreational and commercial fisheries in the western North Atlantic for its meat and fins.

BLACKTIP SHARK