Oceanic Whitetip Shark
This species gets its common name from the white tips of its dorsal, pectoral, and tail fins. The dorsal and pectoral fins are large and distinctly rounded rather than pointed like in many other shark species.
Oceanic White Tip Sharks can be seen year-round in the Red Sea; however they are more frequently seen in the months September – January at sites such as The Brothers Islands, Daedalus & Elphinstone. They also can be seen at Cat Island in the Bahamas seasonally.
One of the few places in the world you can have an encounter with Oceanic White Tip Sharks, the Red Sea boasts reasonably consistent sightings. Oceanic White Tip Sharks are a curious and will approach divers, this allows for some epic encounters & photo opportunities! Interactions generally occur on remote offshore reef walls at shallower depths, such as safety stops. It’s not uncommon to see them under the boats at sites such as the Brothers, Elphinstone and Daedalus, where they get attracted by the vibrations from the engines running.
Oceanic whitetip sharks are targeted widely in commercial fisheries. This species’ fins are some of the most highly desirable for shark fin soup. This high targeted catch and the accidental capture of the oceanic whitetip shark in fisheries targeting other species have driven down its populations significantly, and they continue to trend downward. Scientists now believe this shark to be vulnerable to extinction, and it is provided legal protection in many places. Without careful management of this once common species, its continued existence as an important top predator in open ocean food webs may be at risk of being lost.
Why not take a look at our ‘Dive & Stay’ and ‘Liveaboard’ adventures where you can encounter this animal by clicking on the tabs on the left.