The Blacktip Reef Shark

Shark pic.jpg

You will often have the opportunity to see Blacktip Reef sharks in the shallow, lagoon waters of French Polynesia. These elusive creatures are so beautiful, and look just like their name suggests. They are easy to spot and identify, as they have a “black tip” on their fins.  You can easily observe their first dorsal fin exposed on the surface of the water as they cruise around the lagoon shallows and coral reefs. 

These sharks do not pose a real threat to humans, and in our experience, have cured many of our guests of “shark-phobia”. Once people get to swim, snorkel with, and observe these sharks, they quickly realize how dis-interested they really are with people.  Naturally they may swim within 10 feet of snorkelers or divers out of curiosity, and then quickly flee. After years of seeing these sharks, we personally still get so excited when we have the opportunity to watch them underwater. They have a regal gracefulness that truly sets them apart in the lagoon waters. 

 Some interesting and educational facts about the Blacktip Reef Shark 

  • Female sharks carry their young for up to 16 months before giving birth in the shallow, lagoon waters. Once they give birth they do not parent any further.

  • Baby sharks are called “pups” and reach maturity between 4-7 years.

  • Average adult size is 4.9 feet and approximately 40 pounds. 

  • The average life-span is 13 years.

  • The diet of the Blacktip Reef shark typically consists of smaller fish such as mullet, jack fish and wrasses.