This photograph of an oceanic whitetip shark, was taken during a dive at Daedalus Reef in the Red Sea in May of 2018. If you look closely behind the left pectoral fin, you can see the bite marks from another shark. This is common show of dominance amongst many species of shark. Photograph by Kyler Badten.
In May, 2018, I traveled to the Red Sea for the first time with a group of friends and my father - a first time experience for all of us in this part of the world. Diving the red sea felt like going back in time. We dove the healthiest, most biodiverse reefs I had ever seen, and swam with countless large predators. Our dive group encountered 9 different species of shark throughout the week, including scalloped hammerheads, threshers and a whale shark. However, the highlights of my trip were just 5 meters below the surface during our safety stops. Oceanic whitetip sharks lingered above while we explored the deep and greeted us as we approached the surface. They had little fear, were very curious and showed no respect for personal space as each oceanic weaved in and out of the divers, and even bumped into cameras. The oceanic whitetip's always stayed near the top of the water column, seemingly watching over all the life that flourished below, like guardians of the Red Sea.
- Kyler Badten
The oceanic whitetip shark (carcharhinus longimanus) is a pelagic species, found in subtropical and tropical waters all around the world. Their numbers have been largely diminished in the illegal shark fin trade, and by fisheries as bycatch. Oceanic whitetip sharks are now listed as vulnerable, according to the IUCN Red List.