species; also known as requiem sharks, requins, cazones picudos, tiburones,
tintorereas; some individual species … gray
reef , narrowtooth, spinner, silky, Galapagos, bull, blacktip, oceanic
whitetip, blacktip reef,
dusky, Caribbean reef, sandbar, tiger, lemon, blue, whitetip reef, milk,
Whalers, or requiem sharks, all members of the genus Carcharhinus, are
a group of closely- related sharks, which present identification difficulties.
There are 12 genera and at least 50 species in this family, many with worldwide
distribution and targeted by sportfishermen. Most are pelagic in tropical
and warm temperate areas, a few are oceanic while at least one can penetrate
far into fresh water. The most important identifying features are tooth
shape and number, position of the dorsal fins, color and the presence or
absence of an interdorsal ridge. Whales are typically viviparous, with
a yolk-sac placenta (tiger sharks are an exception, being ovoviviparous).
The Carcarhinidae family contains three of the four shark species most
dangerous to humans.
Whalers are small to large sharks with fusiform bodies, round eyes, internal
nictitating eyelids, ventrally placed mouths extending past the eyes, no
nasoral grooves or barbles, usually no spiracles, moderately long labial
furrows, small to large, more or less blade-like teeth in both jaws, often
broader in the upper jaw, five gill openings, the fifth behind origin of
pectoral fin. Two dorsal fins and an anal fin, the first dorsal fin moderate-sized
to large and with its base well ahead of pelvic bases, the second dorsal
fin usually much smaller than the first, precaudal pits present, caudal
fin with a strong ventral lobe and lateral undulations on its dorsal margin.
The intestine with a scroll-type valve and usually no color pattern.
All tackle records will be given to those positively identified to species
level. Anglers submitting record applications should supply good lateral
photographs of the shark, and photographs of the underside of the head
and interdorsal area, the space between the first and second dorsal fins.
At least six adjacent teeth taken from the center of the upper jaw would
also aid in positive identification.