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Oceanic White-tip Shark (Carcharhinus longimanus)

Updated: Jul 15, 2021

Responsible environmental guidelines and code of conduct for scuba diving with

oceanic white-tip sharks (Carcharhinus longimanus)

The Red Sea is a well-known area for its conspicuous presence of sharks. A total of 49 shark species occur in the area encompassing the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. The oceanic white-tip (Carcharhinus longimanus) is a large shark found in tropical and subtropical oceans throughout the world.

The oceanic white-tip (Carcharhinus longimanus)

Identification Criteria

They are large and have stocky builds. Their dorsal fins are rounded and their pectoral fins are long and paddle-like, with white tips (hence the name). The color of their bodies vary depending on where they live. They are generally grayish bronze to brown, while their undersides are white to light gray.

Oceanic white-tip sharks are seasonal visitors to the Red Sea and are commonly found in off-shore reefs.If you have the chance to dive with them, please follow the following instructions:


  • Knowledge is key, learn about shark behavior, ecology and conservation

  • Use the mooring system

  • Listen carefully to pre-dive briefings; your local guide will let you know what to expect and how to react

  • Curious and wild predators - respect them! Keep an eye on the animal and be alert but not nervous

  • Dive during the day and avoid diving between dusk and dawn

  • Limit your observation to a maximum time of 30 minutes

  • Groups of divers should stay together and ideally remain at the same depth level as the shark, and in buddy teams

  • Keep a safe distance and check the water for oceanic's before entering

  • Enter/exit water in a quick and safe manner, via negative entry and minimize time at surface

  • Follow safe diving practices; wear a wet suit, maintain neutral bouncy, stay vertical if the shark is close to you, stay calm

  • Avoid sudden movements, stay alert, keep your eyes on the animal and NEVER turn/swim away from a shark

  • Take plenty of photos and Report Sightings

  • Report any violations to the authorities


  • Conduct any kite surfing, water-skiing or any activities that involve zodiac / boat towing

  • Conduct any type of fishing; if you spot any fishing activity whilst diving; exit the water immediately

  • Use camera flash

  • Use selfie-sticks

  • Feed sharks; if you notice any shark feeding activities in the water EXIT the water immediately and report to the authorities

  • Conduct any skin/free diving or swimming in their area

  • Use underwater acoustic signalling devices

  • Try to touch the animal, the shark might become defensive and attack

  • Chase or harass the shark




Download your FREE copy in High-Resolution of the responsible environmental guidelines and code of conduct for scuba diving with oceanic white-tip sharks (Carcharhinus longimanus) and more from our E-Library on the Red Sea Sharks Project section.


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