Two Oceanic Whitetip Sharks near the surface in The Bahamas; one of the few locations left where these animals can be found. Oceanic Whitetip populations have been decimated due to the demand for their fins, which are prized for shark fin soup. Like the American Bison, an animal that was once abundant and then hunted to the brink, only a fraction of Oceanic Whitetip shark populations remain today. Their numbers have declined 93% between 1995 and 2010 alone. Recovery will be difficult, because they reach sexual maturity only by age 7 and have small litters of pups every one to two years.
Living in the pelagic zone – the open ocean – Oceanic Whitetips are shaped like aircraft, with long pectoral fins that allow them to glide efficiently over long distances, expending little energy.
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