Healing rates, recovery and survival are important factors to consider when assessing impacts of habitat degradation and fishing stress on shark populations. The present study suggests that individual survival may depend more on handling practices and physiological stress rather than the extent of physical injury.
These observations also contribute to discussions regarding the ethics of tagging practices used in elasmobranch research
and provide baseline healing rates that may increase the accuracy in estimating reproductive timing inferred from mating scars and birth dates for neonatal sharks based on umbilical scar healing status.
Blacktip reef sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus) show high capacity for wound healing and recovery following injury