CHARACTERISTICS OF THE BLACK TIP SHARK
It is a large shark, native to continental and island shelves of tropical and warm temperate seas around the world.This fish is sturdy, argentine in color, with typically black fins . This species has a long, narrow, pointed snout, long gill slits, a large first dorsal fin, and a fairly large second dorsal fin. Like its close relative the Spinner Shark, it is a fast swimmer capable of not only piercing but also spinning several times before returning to the water. This species is not aggressive and unlikely to attack humans unprovoked. There is evidence of segregation, with some populations showing separation between groups of adult males and non-pregnant females and pregnant females and young.
DIET OF BLACK TIP SHARKS
This large fish feeds mainly on a wide range of bony fish, including sardines, herring, mullet, trevallies, and Spanish mackerel. They are also known to eat other similar species, including dusky ones and certain cephalopods (a class of mollusks) and crustaceans (lobsters, crabs, shrimps, crawfish, and barnacles).
THEIR MODE OF REPRODUCTION The blacktip shark is viviparous (the embryo develops inside the mother’s body and not outside, in an egg) and has a yellow-sac placenta with 1 to 10 young per litter. The gestation period is around 10 to 12 months and the females are thought to breed every two years.
CONSERVATION STATUS OF THE BLACK-TIP SHARK
It is classified as “Vulnerable”. Its flesh is used fresh, dried, or salted for consumption. Its skin is used for leather and its liver for oil. It is occasionally taken as a game fish, most commonly by anglers. It has not been indicated in unprovoked attacks on humans but is potentially dangerous. Not to be bewildered with the reef shark.