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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Whitetip Reef Shark Triaenodon obesus

One of the sharks most often seen by divers is the whitetip reef shark, which during the day may be found around coral reefs resting in caves and gullies, often in groups.

The tip of its first dorsal fin and the upper tip of its tail are white, in contrast to its grayish brown back. At night, the whitetip reef shark comes out to hunt reef fish, octopus, lobsters, and crabs hidden among the coral. Packs sometimes hunt together, sniffing out the prey and bumping and banging the coral to get at them.

What Oceana Does to Protect Whitetip Reef Sharks

Oceana is working internationally to protect and restore shark populations. Through policy, science, legal and communications work, Oceana is pushing for true shark finning bans, species-specific shark management and reduced shark bycatch.

Whitetip Reef Shark habitat mapzoom image
Whitetip Reef Sharkzoom image
Whitetip Reef Sharkzoom image
Whitetip Reef Sharkzoom image
  • Order Carcharhiniformes
  • Length Up to 6 ft (2 m)
  • Weight Up to 37 lb (18 kg)
  • Depth Typically 25–130 ft (8–40 m), recorded at 1,080 ft (330 m)
  • Distribution Tropical waters of the Indian Ocean and Pacific