Carcharhinus melanopterus (Quoy & Gaimard 1824)
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Carcharhinus melanopterus (Quoy & Gaimard 1824)

Genus: ,

Scientific Name: Carcharhinus melanopterus

English Name: Blacktip reef shark

Creole Name: Reken sek/nwar

French Name: Requin pointes noires

IUCN Red List Status: Near Threatened (NT)

Description:

Medium-sized shark with short bluntly-rounded snout, light brown to brown-grey dorsally and white ventrally with conspicuous white band on flanks. Fins with striking black tips often further emphasised by proximal white bands on D1, D2, pelvic and anal fins.

Fins: D1 large, falcate, apex sharply rounded or pointed. Striking black tip emphasised by white band below. Origin over pectoral free rear tips. D2 relatively large. Origin over anal fin origin. Black tip often underlined by white band. Short free rear tip. No interdorsal ridge. Pectorals large, narrow and falcate, apices narrowly rounded or pointed with distinct black tips. Pelvic and anal fins with black tip sometimes emphasised by proximal white band. Caudal ventral lobe has conspicuous black tip, dorsal lobe with black trailing edge.

Head: Short bluntly rounded snout, quite large horizontally oval eyes, gill slits medium-sized. Nostrils large with elongated bluntly pointed anterior lobes. Upper labial furrows short and inconspicuous.


Size:

Born 33-52cm TL. Mature: Male 90-100cm TL, Female 95-112, Maximum <200cm TL.


Habitat and Ecology:

Viviparous 2-4 pups per litter after long (possibly up to 16 months) gestation. Inhabitant of shallow waters around coral reefs and reef flats. Feeds on small teleosts and invertebrates.


Fishery Status:

This species is not protected. It is however illegal to fish for sharks with nets (Fisheries Act, Reg 16.c). It is subject to the hand line fishery and presumably in the past extensively in the net fishery. It is a very rare component of the artisanal catch due to it having been largely extirpated from the Mahé plateau – though it is known to still occur in low numbers in a few specific locations. It remains much more common in the Amirantes and southern atolls.  


Notes:

The very shallow water and coastal nature of its habitat makes it very prone to fishing pressure.


References:

Ebert, D.A. et al (2013). Sharks of the World – A fully illustrated guide. Wild Nature press ISBN 978-0-9573946-0-5

Fisheries Act 2014. Prohibition of net fishing of sharks, Reg. 16c of 1st August 1998. (Carried over from the 1986 Fisheries Act as per Fisheries Act 2014 para 79: Savings and Transitional provisions).

Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Eds. 2018. FishBase. https://www.fishbase.de/summary/877 (26/05/19).

Heupel, M. 2009. Carcharhinus melanopterus. The IUCN Red List 2009: e.T39375A10219032. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2009-2.RLTS.T39375A10219032.en. (26/05/19).

Nevill, J.E.G. et al (2015). An identification guide for the sharks of the Seychelles Artisanal Fishery.


Citation:

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