By Ocean Passion Malapascua

Thresher Sharks

What are Thresher Sharks?

Thresher sharks are also called Fox sharks and are split up into three living species: Pelagic Thresher, Bigeye Thresher and Common Thresher. One of these species, the Pelagic Thresher shark (Alopias Pelagicus), is known to inhabit the waters of Malapascua Island. It’s the smallest of the three species (3 meters / 10 foot long and about 70 kg / 153 lb). Furthermore, this shark is characterized by the highly elongated upper lobe of its caudal fin, which is used like a whip to strike prey (especially small fish). In addition, this shark is a strong swimmer and can even be seen jumping out of the water (breaching). It’s not aggressive (no one has ever reported an attack on humans), and once it encounters a diver, it can be shy, usually changing direction and swimming away. Unfortunately the Thresher sharks population is declining, due to illegal fishing and pollution.

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