Oceanic White Tip Sharks
Not long ago the Oceanic White Tip Shark was abundant throughout the world and included waters surrounding Florida. Recently a drastic population reduction has occurred. As the Endangered Species Act petition states, ” an estimated 200,000 to 1,200,000 oceanic whitetips are killed annually to support the international fin trade (Bonfil, et al., 2008 at 7; E-CoP16-Prop-42 at 8; see also Clarke, et al.)” You can help this open ocean shark by making public comments. These sharks may seem scary but cleaner fish rely on them for food. When the sharks come close to reefs small fish like the one in this picture will feed off parasites that may be attached to the shark or other open ocean dwellers. If these cleaner fish don’t get access to these parasites regularly they will start to feed off the flesh of the fish within the reef areas. This can create open wounds and infections and can hurt smaller fish who naturally live in these areas. These sharks help to keep our unique ecosystems in balance and healthy. Please, make public comments at the link below and support the ESA petition to list these sharks.