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Kerala: Shark's big score: A 100 tonnes! by Rochelle DSouza May 06,2016   |  Source: The Times of India

The landing, estimated at around 100 tonnes of sharks, included species like oceanic white tip sharks (the most abundant species in Thursday's catch), requiem sharks, hammer heads, threshers, mackerel sharks and hound sharks. According to scientists from the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), the Thoppumpady harbour witnesses regular such hauls, but this was probably one of the largest in recent years. "The month of May witnesses a great deal of shark landings, particularly juvenile sharks. They are caught from as far as 200 nautical miles off the coast of Kochi using long lines and gill nets. Waters around Kochi are abundant with shark species and account for a great deal of annual shark landings. The share of sharks in total fish landings had declined by more than 64% from 1985 to 2013. But since 2015, we are seeing a slight increase in their numbers," said P U Zacharia, head of the Demersal Fisheries Department at CMFRI. For the fishermen, the catch is valuable though shark as such is not a big favourite among Kochiites. But it has a high international market value, particularly in Southeast Asian countries, where dishes such as shark fin soup is a delicacy. It is estimated that 160 species of sharks are known to be found in the commercial fishing zone.

 

© 2016, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.

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