Did you know that White-tip Reef Sharks may stay within a particular area of the reef for months to years, time and again returning to the same shelter? That is probably the reason why we’ve been spotting them regularly while diving at Dili Rock East in the past few days!
White-tip Reef Sharks are small (they usually don’t exceed 1.6 meters) and can easily be recognised by – surprise, surprise! – the white markings on the tips of several of their fins. They are one of the most common sharks found on Indo-Pacific coral reefs, usually at depths between 8 and 40 metres. Agile swimmers, they’re well suited for their reef habitat existence. During the day, they spend much of their time resting inside caves, but at night they emerge to hunt bony fishes, crustaceans and octopuses.
White-tip Reef Sharks have been assessed as “Near Threatened”, since its numbers are dwindling due to increasing levels of unregulated fishing activity across its range. The slow reproductive rate and limited habitat preferences of this species renders its populations vulnerable to overfishing. But while humans represent a great threat to these creatures, White-tip Reef Sharks are harmless to us.
You can help preventing shark extinction by supporting organisations which fight this cause, such as The Shark Trust, Shark Savers, Shark Guardian or Stop Shark Finning.
The whole marine ecosystem will be thankful!