WWF India said, the country, after Indonesia is among the highest of shark fishing nations of the world, as now fishing here has become more “targetted” than just “incidental”.
As demands have increased internationally since the last two decades, the sustainability of the fishing catches is a matter of great concern.
“Mechanised trawl nets, gills nets and line gear operations contribute to maximum exploitation,” WWF India said on the eve of Shark Awareness Day, PTI reported.
According to India’s Wildlife Protection Act of India 1972, four species of sharks have been listed as protected under Schedule I. They four species are whale shark (Rhincodon typus), Pondicherry shark (Carcharhinus hemiodon), Ganges shark (Glyphis gangeticus) and the speartooth shark (Glyphis glyphis). There are 88 shark species found in Indian waters, WWF India said.
India had announced a ban on the practice of shark finning by issuing the ‘Fins Naturally Attached’ policy requiring fishers to land sharks with their fins attached.
“Globally, finning is a common practice of removal of shark fins for export purpose to nations, particularly China, for its use in soups and other delicacies. The remaining shark body is discarded into the sea.
“Unable to move effectively without their fins, most times these animals sink to the bottom of the ocean and die either through suffocation or attacked by other predators. In India the shark fish is fully used and follows a ‘zero waste’ policy,” WWF India said.
According to the report by WWF India which released last year, around one in four species of sharks, rays and skates is now considered to be “threatened” globally, primarily due to overfishing, PTI reported.