The Blacktip Reef Shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus) is one of the most common sharks found in warm, shallow waters, as well as around coral reefs of Indo-Pacific waters. They are fairly easy to spot when they are in coastal waters.
It gets its name from the noticeable black tips on its fins. The Blacktip Reef Sharks skin is brownish in color on the upper half of its body. It can grow up to 7 feet in length, but its average length is around 5 feet. Its snout is blunt and rounded. Blacktip Reef sharks are not considered a real threat because they are usually quite small.
The Blacktip Reef Shark is not identified as social, although it can been seen in small groups. While they are generally shy, they still exude curiosity about snorkelers and divers. Timid and fidgety, blacktip reef sharks don’t pose a threat to humans unless provoked. Most sharks bend their bodies forming an ‘S’ shape when they feel threatened.
The Blacktip Reef shark is one of only a few sharks that has the ability to jump out of the water, a behavior known as breaching.
Blacktip reef sharks prefer eating small fishes, including mullet, jacks and wrasses. There were some occasions where a group of blacktip reef sharks were observed hunting by herding small schools of fish.
Watch Blacktip Reef Sharks at Club Paradise Palawan:
The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed the blacktip reef shark as ‘Near Threatened’. They are often caught from other fisheries and their population is declining just like other shark species. Their fins are commonly used to make shark fin soup which became a major reason in the decline of their population.