The spinner shark is a species of requiem shark known for leaping out of the water and spinning up to three times in midair as part of its hunting strategy. It’s found in warm tropical waters around the world, except in the Eastern Pacific. It is commonly found near the shore and at depths of up to 100 m, although it spends most of its time in shallower waters.
This species is sometimes mistaken for the blacktip shark due the black markings in their fins, but there are some ways to tell them apart. Adult male spinner sharks have anal fins with black tips; blacktip sharks’ anal fins don’t have a black tip. Spinners also tend to be more slender than blacktip sharks.
Their diet consists mostly of bony fish. Their spinning leaps happen when a spinner shark charges a fish school from underneath.
These sharks are viviparous and females give birth to 3-20 pups every other year. Neonates are about 60-75 cm at birth. They grow up to 3 m, but most adults are about 2-meters long.
This species is targeted for its meat and fins and its commonly marketed as blacktip shark. They’re caught by commercial and recreational fisheries, which puts significant pressure on them. Fortunately, they grow relatively fast, and this makes them more resilient to fishing pressures. However, without proper management they could become threatened in the near future. The IUCN considers them a Near Threatened species.
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