Published On: Mon, Oct 7th, 2013

In a first, fishermen catch bramble shark off Sindh’s Coast

Bramble shark a weird looking shark Photo Courtesy WWF-Pakistan

Bramble shark a weird looking shark Photo Courtesy WWF-Pakistan

Amar Guriro

KARACHI: Sindh’s fishermen for the first time caught a 1.6m long bramble shark from Indus Swatch (offshore water off Indus River) on Sunday.

It was brought at the Karachi Fish Harbor, where people started attributing it to be a hybrid between and fish and a shark.

The bramble shark (scientifically known as Echinorhinus brucus) is usually found in the offshore waters up to a depth of 900 m.

This weird looking shark is of rare occurrence in the water of Sindh. It was first reported from Ormara, Balochistan in 1984 which was about 2.5m long caught with handline.

Since then this species was caught by fishermen using trawl net and bottom set gillnets. Because of its rare occurrence, this shark is of no commercial value. Characterized by presence of presence of denticles on the body, this shark has purplish colour.

Photo Courtesy WWF-Pakistan

Photo Courtesy WWF-Pakistan

Bramble shark has a wide distribution in tropical and subtropical waters of Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Ocean and also in Mediterranean Sea. In the Arabian Sea it is known from Pakistan, Oman, and India. It is comparatively rare and sluggish shark which is found in continental shelf and slopes in these countries.

Muhammad Moazzam Khan Technical Advisor (Marine Fisheries) who collected its first specimen of this species from Pakistan informed that this shark feeds on a variety of food including other small sharks, fishes and crabs. Specimen collected by him from Karachi Fish harbour in 2004 when dissected revealed presence of oceanic swimming crab (Charybdis smithii). It produces 15 to 26 young in a litter. However, because of its rarity of occurrence other facets of its life are not known.

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