Oceanic Whitetip Shark (Carcharhinus longimanus)
Oceanic Whitetip Shark
Photo: Johan Lantz
CITES Appendix II - proposed throughout its range
Oceanic whitetip sharks are moderately large sharks with a global distribution. This stocky shark is easily distinguished from other sharks by its unmistakable whitish-tipped first dorsal, pectoral, pelvic, and caudal fins. It has a large rounded first dorsal fin and very long and wide paddle-like pectoral fins with a short, bluntly rounded nose and small circular eyes.
They feed on bony fishes (including tunas, barracuda, white marlin, dolphinfish, lancetfish, oarfish, threadfish, swordfish), also threadfins, stingrays, sea turtles, sea birds, gastropods, squid, crustaceans, mammalian carrion and garbage.
Oceanic whitetip sharks are found worldwide in warm tropical and subtropical waters between 20° North and 20° South latitude, but can be found up to about 30° North and South latitude during seasonal movements to higher latitudes in the summer months.
- trade, use in shark fin soup
Oceanic whitetip sharks are one of the more common tropical pelagic species taken as bycatch primarily in tuna and swordfish fisheries with pelagic longlines, purse seines, and probably also with pelagic gillnets, handlines and occasionally pelagic and even bottom trawls.
Fins have high value (US$20 to US$40 per lb) in the international fin trade and are used to make shark fin soup.
In October 2012, the United States agreed to cosponsor a Colombian proposal to add oceanic whitetip sharks to Appendix II of CITES to provide further protections from the high demand in international trade. The proposal will be considered for adoption at the next CITES meeting in March 2013.
The United States offered a similar proposal (co-sponsored by Palau) at the last CITES meeting in March 2010. The proposal garnered a simple majority but failed to acquire the two-thirds majority needed for adoption.
|CITES Appendix II Proposal||10/04/2012|
Updated: February 27, 2013