Mark Erdmann, a scientist of Conservation International (CI), was able to capture some incredible footage of a new species of shark, named “walking” shark. The newly discovered specimen was observed by Dr. Erdmann and a group of scientists off the coast of an Indonesian island just a few days ago.
Indonesia, which seems to be offering new manta ray and shark species every year, gifts us with a new kind of shark this time, named walking shark. As you will see from the video below, the fish either walks, by using its four pectoral fins, or normally swims, this time using its caudal fin. Both times in the video you may notice how the animal likes being as close to the seafloor as possible.
The fish appears not to be dangerous for humans whatsoever, as many sharks found in Indonesian waters after all. The newly discovered animal has been classified as Hemiscyllium Halmahera, as mentioned on this post on humanature. The fish was observed in the middle of reefs of the remote Indonesian island of Halmahera.
Enjoy now the video taken by Dr. Mark Erdmann.
Shark Conservation in Indonesia
Indonesia was renowned, for almost 30 years, for its export activity of dried shark fins, as well as other products. The country is, at present, responsible for the export of more than 100,000 sharks and rays every year, which corresponds to roughly 10 to 13 percent of global capture. As a matter of fact, as mentioned by Dr. Mark Erdmann, it’s quite rare today to see these animals in Indonesian waters. Sharks are a fascinating species, as we all know, and much important for oceans, for their presence helps waters keeping healthy.
Nevertheless, Indonesia took several big steps toward shark conservation in the last few years, and the situation seems to be getting better by the day. The incredible boom of Asian countries has also indirectly increased the understanding of how important these animals are in the ecosystem.
As an Asian country, Indonesia’s economy improvement led to an increase in the number of Indonesian people taking scuba diving; and that helped increasing awareness of the decline in shark and ray population. This awareness also expanded the number of enthusiasts of this important species.
Moreover, the government is aware of the importance of sharks in Indonesian waters, most of all for the enormous advantages deriving by shark and manta-related marine tourism. Recent studies show Indonesia would benefit from US$ 15 million economic benefit because of that. To be more specific, it’s been calculated a living manta ray is worth US$ 1.9 million to Indonesian economy over the course of its lifetime, as opposed to only US $40-200 for its meat.
About Conservation International
Conservation International (CI) is an organization working to help creating a healthy and productive planet for all beings. CI works from remote villages to fancy offices of presidents around the world, from big cities to small villages, to help increasing awareness and build a better world. Their main concern is protecting the resources we all depend upon for survival, such as tropical forests, rivers, lakes, seas and more.