IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category Year Assessed
Near Threatened Red List Criteria Version
Rosa, R.S., Mancini, P., Caldas, J.P. & Graham, R.T. Reviewer/s
Cavanagh, R.D., Kyne, P.M., Stevens, J., Dudley, S. & Pollard, D. (Shark Red List Authority) & Pogonoski, J. Justification
is a large (to 295 cm TL), reef-dwelling shark found in the Western Atlantic from North Carolina (USA), throughout the Caribbean (where it is the most common reef shark) south to Brazil. Despite its widespread distribution and apparent abundance in some areas, this is a large, inshore shark with low productivity (biennial reproductive cycle with gestation ~1 year and litters of 3 to 6) taken as bycatch in artisanal and commercial fisheries throughout its range, together with demand for trade in its meat and fins. Little data are available, but in some parts of its range intense inshore fisheries exist and there is strong evidence indicating declines, e.g. off Belize and Cuba, together with the continued exploitation of this species in some marine reserves due to lack of enforcement. However, this species is protected in some areas, (e.g., Florida and Bahamas where it is a major attraction to the ecotourism diving industry). Although further information on interactions with fisheries is required before its status can be more accurately determined, at the present time this species is assessed as Near Threatened and may well be shown to meet the criteria for Vulnerable in the future, based on overall population declines.