Reef Sharks

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Recently, a study carried out by over 150 researchers said that Reef sharks are disappearing — with the five most common species experiencing a decline of up to 73 per cent.

About Reef Sharks:

  • They play a major role in shaping Caribbean reef communities.  
  • As the top predators of the reef and indicator species for marine ecosystems, they help maintain the delicate balance of marine life in reef environments.  
  • Habitat: Tropical waters near coral reefs, sea grass beds and mangroves.
  • Species of reef sharks: The Caribbean reef shark, nurse shark, grey reef shark, blacktip reef shark and whitetip reef shark 
  • Threats:
    • They are highly valued for their meat, leather, liver oil, and fishmeal, which make them prone to overfishing and targeting. 
    • They are threatened by the degradation and destruction of their coral reef habitat due to coastal development and resulting pollution.
    • They are often unintentionally caught by unregulated and illegal fishing practices that cannot distinguish the reef shark from the fishers’ targeted species.


Q1) What is Indicator species?

Indicator species are organisms that can provide information about the environmental conditions of a particular ecosystem. These species are selected based on their sensitivity to specific environmental changes, such as pollution, habitat loss, or climate change.

Source: Reef sharks ‘pushed to extinction by overfishing’, up to ‘73% decline’ in 5 common species globally