A new species of shark has been discovered in waters off a remote Indonesian island.
The newly discovered shark, officially called Hemiscyllium halamhera, is a new species of epaulet, or “walking shark”, characterized by its method of foraging for smaller fish and crustaceans using its pectoral and pelvic fins to “walk” along the sea floor. It is generally small and slender with a maximum length of up to two and a half feet.
After nearly three decades as the world’s largest exporter of dried shark fins and other shark and ray products, Indonesia is now focusing on the tremendous economic potential of its sharks and rays as living assets. The Indonesian government says such discoveries feed a growing awareness in the country of the “important ecological role that sharks play in maintaining healthy fish stocks and especially in the tremendous economic potential” of marine tourism.