All About Florida Keys Fishing & Key West Fishing





    NURSE SHARK
    Ginglymostoma cirratum



                                                                                                    Photo Credit: (c) Doug Perrine
    Habitat
    An abundant, coastal, tropical and subtropical shark that inhabits nearshore waters of both
    the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of Flordia. Often seen lying motionless on the bottom.
    Preferred habitats are coral reefs, rocks, and mangrove islands.

    Feeding
    Feeds mainly on bottom invertebrates such as spiny lobsters, shrimps, crabs, sea
    urchins, squid, octopi, and marine molluscs; also feeds on some fish species, especially
    grunts.

    Reproduction
    Gives birth to live young. Litters contain 20-50 pups. Size at birth about 1 foot. Mating
    aggregations reported in Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas, often in very shallow water.
    Juveniles utilize shallow coral reefs, rocky areas, grass flats, and mangrove islands as
    nursery habitat.

    Size/Age
    Maximum size about 9 feet. Matures at approximately 7 feet and is estimated to live 24+
    years.

    Human factors
    Valued in the Caribbean for its high quality hide, but is considered a nuisance species in
    most North American longline fisheries with fins and meat of little value. Does well in
    captivity and has been used in many physiological and immunological studies. This
    sluggish bottom-dwelling shark has been involved in only a few attacks on humans, most
    of which were provoked.


















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