The Sharptooth Lemon Shark is a large, stocky, yellowish shark found in the tropical Indo-west and central Pacific oceans, extending from South Africa to Australia and Oceania regions.
This species is found on continental and insular shelves and terraces, often on and around coral reefs and sandy plateaus and in lagoons, estuaries, and mangrove swamps.
Biology and Behaviour:
The Sharptooth Lemon Shark is born in litters of one to 14 pups after a 10 to 11-month gestation (pregnancy) period, every two years. Each pup is around 60 cm at birth and can grow to 310 cm in total length. Both male and female reach maturity at 220 cm.
This shark species do not tend to migrate far, often staying in the same region of waters. They can be found from the surface of the water down to at least 30 metres deep. They feed on smaller sharks, stingrays and on benthic bony fish (bottom-of-the-ocean-feeders).
Conservation and Tourism:
The Sharptooth Lemon Shark has a decreasing population and is assessed as globally Vulnerable by the IUCN Redlist for Endangered Species. There are also records of local extinctions in India and Thailand and it is assessed as endangered in South East Asia. Widespread damage and destruction of coral reefs and mangrove habitats in parts of South East Asia are also cause for concern.
Within Australian waters, this species is wide-ranging and captured in small numbers in gillnets, beach-meshing and longlines on the east coast and Northern Territory. Outside Australia, it is heavily fished in unregulated and expanding inshore fisheries.
Their meat is utilized fresh and dried salted for human consumption, their fins are used for shark-fin soup base, and their liver oil for vitamins.
The Sharptooth Lemon Shark is also valuable for dive tourism and can be harmful only if provoked.
Currently, there are no conservation measures in place for this species.
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