Protected Resources

Oceanic Whitetip Shark

Scientific name: Carcharhinus longimanus

Bigeye Thresher Shark, Image: Alessandro de Madalena
Oceanic Whitetip Shark, Image: Johan Lantz

Current Management Issues

On December 29, 2016, we announced a proposed rule (81 FR 96304) to list the oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus) as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). After completing a comprehensive status review for the species, and after taking into account efforts being made to protect the species, we conclude that the oceanic whitetip shark is likely to become endangered throughout all or a significant portion of its range within the foreseeable future. Therefore, we propose to list the oceanic whitetip shark as a threatened species.

Public Comments and Information We Seek on the Oceanic Whitetip Shark Proposed Listing

A 90-day public comment period on the proposal to list the oceanic whitetip shark under the ESA is open until March 29, 2017. You may submit comments and information via the Federal eRulemaking Portal here. We will consider public comments and new information before making a final listing decision, which is expected by December 29, 2017.

We are also soliciting information on the population structure, habitat use, abundance, and distribution of the species, as well as threats and planned activities that may impact the species, and efforts being made to protect oceanic whitetip sharks. Information on potential areas of critical habitat within waters under U.S. jurisdiction is also requested.


On September 21, 2015, we received a petition from Defenders of Wildlife to list the oceanic whitetip shark under the ESA. The petitioners requested that we list either the entire global species, or any distinct population segments (DPS). The petitioners also requested that critical habitat be designated concurrent with a final listing.

On January 12, 2016, NOAA Fisheries made a positive 90-day finding (81 FR 1376), determining that the petitioned action to list the oceanic whitetip shark may be warranted. A comprehensive status review was conducted to inform the 12-month finding.

Key Documents

More Information

Please visit our Protected Resources Division's ESA Section 4 page for more information on the ESA here.

Please visit the NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources' oceanic whitetip shark species page for more info here.