A smaller little-studied whaler shark of the Indo-Pacific
The Whitecheek shark (Carcharhinus dussumieri), is a requiem shark of the family Carcharhinidae, found in the Indo-West Pacific Ocean.
Family: Carcharhinidae – Requiem sharks
Common Name– Ground Sharks- Requiem Sharks
Common Name– Widemouth Blackspot shark
Status: IUCN Red List NEAR THREATENED
Average Size and Length: The Whitecheek shark grows to a length of about 3.2 feet.
Teeth and Jaw: The Whitecheek shark has a rounded snout. Both jaws have multiple rows of backward-pointing, serrated teeth.
Head: The head is long on the Whitecheek shark, and it has oval eyes.
Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Whitecheek shark is native to the Indo-Pacific Ocean, where it is found on continental shelves and inshore slopes around islands down to about 560 feet. Its range extends from the Arabian Sea and Persian Gulf to Java, Indonesia, Japan, and Australia.
Diet: The Whitecheek shark mostly feeds on fish, but also eats octopus, squid, and various crustaceans including crabs. It will sometimes eat mollusks and worms from the seabed.
Aesthetic Identification: The body of the Whitecheek shark is slender. It is a smaller shark. It is brown or greyish on the top and counter-shaded pale on the bottom. The pectoral fins are long, narrow, and curved and have narrow, pointed tips. The first dorsal fin is triangular, un-curved, and moderate-sized, and the second dorsal fin is much smaller than the first and bears a large black spot at its apex.
Biology and Reproduction: The Whitecheek shark is viviparous. Both male and female Whitecheek sharks mature at a little over 2 feet. They breed throughout the year. They typically have 2 pups per litter, but sometimes 1 to 4 pups. Pups are about 15 inches at birth.
Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: The Whitecheek shark isn’t well studied. There is a lot of area to raise money for research and conservation of the Whitecheek shark.
Whitecheek Shark Future and Conservation: The Whitecheek shark is often caught in shallow-water fisheries by rod and line, gillnetting, and trawling. Its population trend seems to be decreasing and it is facing local extinction in some parts of its range. It is usually caught as bycatch rather than as the target species. Their meat is marketed.
Whitecheek Shark Recorded Attacks on Humans: No threat to humans.