This bottom-dwelling, docile species is found in a variety of habitats which include continental shelves, corals and rocky reefs, mangroves and sand flats. Nurse sharks are equipped with long barbells on their snout to locate benthic prey.
Although their meat is not widely commercialized, nurse sharks fall victim to bycatch in gillnets and longlines. Their inshore habitats also make them susceptible to increasing coastal development, water pollution and coral reef degradation. Nurse sharks are listed as “Data Deficient” on IUCN’s Red List.