Carcharhinus melanopterus | UAE National Red List of Marine Species: Reef-building corals, cartilaginous fishes and select bony fishes

Carcharhinus melanopterus | (Quoy & Gaimard, 1824)
Countries in Assessment
United Arab Emirates
Country ISO code(s)
Does the assessment cover a marine EEZ area(s)?
Scope (Assessment)
Taxonomic Group
Taxonomic Group Level 2
Assessed taxon level
Taxon distribution as listed in assessment
The Blacktip Reef Shark occurs throughout UAE waters. Globally, it is widespread in the tropical Indo-West and Central Pacific (Last and Stevens 2009).
Habitats and Ecology
Ecological system type
Terrestrial system
Freshwater system
Marine system
Habitat details as listed in assessment
The Blacktip Reef Shark is found in inshore habitats, especially associated with coral reefs and sandy areas to depths of 100 m. Adults reach total lengths of up to 180 cm total length (TL) and mature between 90-110 cm TL (Compagno 1984, Stevens 1984, Last and Stevens 1994). Size at birth has been reported at 30-52 cm TL. Information on reproductive biology is limited and conflicting. Blacktip Reef Sharks are viviparous with a yolk sac placenta and give birth to 2-4 pups (usually four) (Compagno 1984, Lyle 1987, Last and Stevens 1994). Data from Sudan suggests a 9 month gestation period in the region (I. Elhassan pers.comm. 09/02/2017). The only age data available is from Australia (Chin et al. 2013). Females mature at 8.5 years and reach a maximum age of at least 15 years. This yields a generation length of 11.5 years. During the breeding season (November and March (Mourier and Planes 2013).
Is there a map available in assessment?
Assessed status
Asessment status in full
Assessment status abreviation
Assessment status criteria
Assessment rationale/justification
The Blacktip Reef Shark occurs throughout UAE inshore waters. It appears to be a resilient shark, persisting long after other species have been overfished, although it is threatened by extensive fishing pressure as well as habitat loss and degradation throughout the Arabian Sea region. Although there are limited data on its status, other Carcharhinus species in the Arabian Gulf have undergone significant declines due to exploitation (target and bycatch) in many largely unregulated gill net, longline and trawl fisheries that operate within its range outside and surrounding UAE waters. Some management measures are now in place in the Arabian Sea region, although domestic fisheries are likely to continue. Though data specifically from the UAE are not available, individuals in the UAE are a component of a larger, interconnected and migratory population that occurs broadly in the north-western Indian Ocean. It is inferred that declines reported in the Arabian Sea region are representative of its status in the UAE. Based on recorded levels of exploitation and decline in habitat quality, it is suspected to have declined by 30-50% over the past three generation lengths, or about 34 years. It is listed as Vulnerable A2cd.
About the assessment
Assessment year
Assessors/contributors/reviewers listed
UAE National Red List Workshop
Affliation of assessor(s)/contributors/reviewers listed on assessment
Assessor affiliation specific
Criteria system
Criteria system specifics
IUCN v3.1
Criteria system used
Criteria Citation
IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1, Second edition. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. iv + 32pp pp. And IUCN. 2012. Guidelines for Application of IUCN Red List Criteria at Regional and National Levels: Version 4.0. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK: IUCN. iii + 41pp.
Endemic to region
Endemism Notes
Is an endemic?: Not_assigned
Threats listed in assessment
In the UAE, sharks have been impacted by targeted fisheries until 2014 when a ban on export of sharks was imposed (Ministry of Climate Change and Environment). Sharks continue to be impacted by bycatch fisheries (Annual Fisheries Statistical Report for Abu Dhabi Emirate 2001-2018). Inshore fisheries are generally intensive throughout the Arabian Sea region, and in some areas, fishing effort is increasing. Marine habitats in the Gulf, including the UAE, are experiencing high levels of disturbance due to major impacts from development activities (including dredging and reclamation), desalination plants, industrial activities, habitat destruction through the removal of shallow productive areas and major shipping lanes (Sheppard et al. 2010). Corals in the UAE and Arabian Gulf have severely declined due to the increasing frequency of mass bleaching events caused by rising water temperatures, which is a consequence of climate change, as well as pervasive coastal development (Riegl et al. 2018, Burt et al. 2019).
Conservation Measures

Conservation measures:
Conservation measures notes:
Required conservation measures:

Scientific Name Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Carcharhinus melanopterus Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Carcharhiniformes Carcharhinidae Carcharhinus