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

Triaenodon obesus | (Rüppell, 1837)
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 Whitetip Reef Shark may occur in UAE waters on the Sea of Oman coast, but this is not yet confirmed. It is excluded from the Arabian Gulf (Al Jufaili et al. 2010). Globally, it is widespread in the tropical Indo-West Pacific (Last and Stevens 2009).
Habitats and Ecology
Ecological system type
Terrestrial system
Freshwater system
Marine system
Habitat details as listed in assessment
Whitetip Reef Sharks are closely associated with coral reefs in clear, tropical waters. This species is primarily nocturnal, sheltering in caves by day, often communally. Maximum size is around 200 cm total length (TL), but adults are very rare over 160 cm. Maturity is attained at about 105 cm TL, although a mature male of 95 cm TL and a pregnant female of 102 cm TL have been recorded in the Maldives (Anderson and Ahmed 1993). Mating has been recorded in the wild by Tricas and Le Feuvre (1985) and pups are born at 52-60 cm TL after a gestation period of at least five months. Litter size has been recorded as 2-3 in Madagascar (Fourmanoir 1961, Last and Stevens 1994) and 1-5 elsewhere (Randall 1977, Last and Stevens 1994). Growth is slow in the wild, estimated at 2.1-4.2 cm year<sup>-1</sup> (Randall 1977), and it may attain sexual maturity at eight to nine years and live to about 16 years (Randall 1977, Smith et al. 1998). Generation length is estimated to be 12.25 years (Randall 1977).
Is there a map available in assessment?
Assessed status
Asessment status in full
Data Deficient
Assessment status abreviation
Assessment rationale/justification
In the UAE, the Whitetip Reef Shark possibly occurs only in coastal waters of the Sea of Oman, but this is not yet confirmed. The species exhibits moderately slow life history characteristics, and is impacted by extensive fishing pressure and habitat loss and degradation throughout the Arabian Sea region. Little is known on the population of this species in UAE waters and given its distribution there remains uncertain, it is listed as Data Deficient.
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
Information pertaining to threats specific to the UAE are unavailable. This species is impacted by target (for fins and their valuable meat) and bycatch fisheries that are active elsewhere in its range. Marine habitats in the Gulf are experiencing high levels of disturbance and quickly deteriorating 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
Triaenodon obesus Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Carcharhiniformes Carcharhinidae Triaenodon