The Oceanic Whitetip Shark is known for attacking humans that are simply splashing around in the water.

The Cceanic Whitetip Shark (Carcharhinus longimanus) is a lesser known shark but it is one that scuba divers and swimmers should not ignore. The Oceanic Whitetip Shark is a large pelagic shark. It has a muscular body designed for sprinting when it needs to ambush prey but the rest of the time the Oceanic Shark is a slow moving shark.

The Oceanic Whitetip Shark stands out over all other sharks with its whitecap fins that are considerably longer proportionally than other sharks. The pectoral and dorsal fins are the most noticeable. The top lob of the caudal fin is twice as long as its lower lob. Not all Oceanic Whitetips Sharks have these characteristic whitecaps on their fins. While it is common with juvenile Oceanic Whitetip Sharks, it is rare in adults.

Food Preferences

Most research claims that the Oceanic Whitetip Shark feeds on cephalopods and bony fish. Cephalopods being squid and octopus. The reality is that it will eat whatever it finds including stingrays, crustaceans and even sea turtles.

Popular fish in its diet include barracuda, jacks, tuna, mackerel and dolphin fish. When hunting, the Oceanic Whitetip Shark is highly aggressive and dangerous when in the presence of other predatory species. It is one of the shark species that will enter a frenzy when feeding with other sharks present.

If it is alone, it is more cautious and takes its time. If in it’s presence, it is recommended to have shark repellants or use a shark cage.

Distribution and Habitat

The Oceanic Whitetip Shark is found throughout the world. It is found in the Atlantic Ocean from the coast of Nova Scotia down to 40&degS off of South America and across to Africa at 24&degS up to the norther edge of Spain at 44&deg N.

In the Indian Ocean, it is found from South africa across to the south-west edge of Australia and water northwards. In the Pacific, the Oceanic Whitetip Shark is found from China at 28&degN all the way across the ocean and all points in-between to the United States at 32&degN.

The Oceanic Whitetip Shark prefers water between 68°F to 82.4°F/20°C to 28°C. While they can be found throughout the ocean, the Oceanic Whitetip Shark prefers the first 500 feet/152.4 meters.


Man Eater Danger Scale

The Oceanic Whitetip Shark is known for attacking humans that are simply splashing around in the water. It has also been reported at the scene of ship wrecks and plane crashes feeding on injured survivors. On the Man Eater Danger Scale, the Oceanic Whitetip Shark scores a 9.