The fishermen said that the dead shark had got caught in the net and that they didn’t see it until they reached the shore.
KAKINADA: A bull shark was netted by the fishermen at Kakinada coast and brought to the Mahakumbhabhishekam near the port. The bull shark is almost 10 feet in the length and weighs nearly 1,000 kilos.
The fishermen said that the dead shark had got caught in the net and that they didn’t see it until they reached the shore. However, biologists claim that the fishermen are actively hunting sharks and the rays which have a high demand in international markets. Sharks are usually hunted for their fins & liver.
Their fins are used in the preparation of soup, which is a delicacy in several countries including the China and Hong Kong. One kilogram of shark fin can fetch up to Rs 10,000.
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Biologists also say that the bull shark species is on a verge of extinction, but because it has not been mentioned in the Wildlife Protection schedule, hunting it is not a crime. They begged that steps to conserve the species must be taken at the earliest.
“It should be included in the protected species list, and the fishermen should be educated about it,” said K. Tulsi Rao, State Coordinator of the EGREE Foundation.
However it is not officially an endangered species, bull sharks are not commonly found along the Kakinada shore, and that they should be protected, he added.
Bull sharks are found in coastal areas where the waters are warm, about 30 meters deep and 50 meters from the shore. They are viviparous and have a litter size of 1 to 13. At birthy, they are about 60 – 80 cm long.
Apart from their fins which are used in soup, their hides are used to make leather, their liver is used to extract oil, and the rest of the carcass is used as a fishmeal.
“The increase in demand for shark fins in the international market has affected to the shark population. Threatened shark species such as the scalloped hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, and the ray species such as Mobula ray are sold at the fish markets in Kakinada as well,” said a biologist.