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Carcharhinus melanopterus

Star 2015 of Acquario di Livorno, 3 blacktip sharks swims in the indopacific tank of Acquario di Livorno together with the two green turtles "Ari" and "Cuba, and two Napoleon fishes. 




The Blacktip Reef Shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus) is a typical fish of coral reefs from the red Sea to the Indo-Pacific region.

It is a very timid species that can live both in the very deep lagoon waters and on the outer edges of reefs, which it usually patrols either alone or in small groups. Its name comes from the black colour of the tips of its fins.

These sharks reach a maximum length of about two metres, and can give birth up to six young at a time. They eat small fishes and crustaceans that they flush out from their hiding places.


The presence of these sharks makes it possible for the general public to get to know them better, understanding more their biological characteristics and the important ecological role that they play in the food chain. Sharks are in fact generally known for being fierce predators, always hunting for food, but they are in reality quite different creatures.

Humans are responsible for killing millions of sharks every year. Many of these are part of the “bycatch” caught accidentally using fishing equipment intended to catch other fish species. Many others are caught intentionally so that their fins can be cut off, a cruel practice called “finning”. Shark fins are in fact unfortunately still considered to be a delicacy in several parts of the world.

After their fins have been cut off, the mortally injured sharks are thrown back into the sea, where they die. For all these reasons, many shark species today risk extinction, and must therefore be protected.

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