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Saltwater Fish Identification

Blacktip Shark
Carcharhinus limbatus

Common Name(s):

Blacktip Whaler, Small Blacktipped Shark


The blacktip shark is dark bluish gray on the back and whitish below, with a distinctive silver white stripe on its flank; young fish are generally paler. As the name implies, it is black-tipped on the inside of the pectoral fin, as well as on the dorsal, anal, and lower lobe of the caudal fins in young fish. This shading may be faint, especially on the first dorsal fin, and it fades with growth. The blacktip shark has a long, almost V-shaped snout and serrated, nearly symmetrical teeth. It often forms large surface schools and is responsible for very few attacks on humans but dangerous when provoked.

Similar Fish:

Blacktip reef shark

Feeding Habits:

The blackfish feed mainly on schooling fish such as herring, sardines, and anchovies.


All Florida coasts, the Bahamas and the Caribbean.


The blacktip shark occurs from the open sea to the coast. It is one of the most familiar sharks in Florida, where it is often seen on shallow flats and along beaches and shorelines. They are also plentiful around passes and inlets.

Typical Size:

Blacktip shark are commonly range from 5 to 30 pounds and just over 8 feet in length. They seldom reach 100 pounds, but have been reported up to 200 or more.

World Record:

270 pounds, 9 ounces (IGFA)


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