Sharks are considered to be apex predators in the marine food chain‚ and are considered to be of immense importance because of their role in the ecological balance of coastal and offshore ecosystems.
Sharks inclusive of sawfishes‚ rays and skates belongs to subclass elasmobranches which are characterized to have cartilage (lack true bones) as skeletal block‚ slow reproduction‚ predatory nature and have gill slits instead of gill cover.
English Name,Scientific Name
Pelagic Thresher (Alopias pelagicus )
Great Hammerhead (Sphyrna mokarran)
Scalloped Hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini)
Blue Shark (Prionace glauca)
Short Fin Mako (Isurus oxyrinchus)
Blacktip Shark (Carcharinus malonopterus)
Bull Shark (Carcharunis leucas)
Tiger Shark (Galeocerdo cuvier)
Whale Shark (Rhincodon typhus)
Manta Ray (Manta birostris)
1 – 10 m
10 – 500 lbs
Pelagic and demersal waters
Sharks (inclusive of rays and guitar fishes) are represented by 134 species in Pakistan including large sharks such as mako‚ tiger shark‚ bull-shark and large mantas.
The biggest threat to sharks is its over exploitation in the gillnet fisheries. There is a high amount of by-catch of sharks in the gillnet fleets and in trawling.
What is WWF-Pakistan doing?WWF-Pakistan has initiated projects related to the assessment of shark fisheries, focusing on monitoring and assessment of shark catch‚ landing and trade; funded by the Scientific Committee (2008 to 2010). .
What you can do to help?
Create awareness, train the government and other staff working on cetaceans, engage media and motivate students to conduct research on these species.