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Updated: June 13, 2011 10:59 IST

Sharks caught by tuna long-liners; sold at fishing harbour

Santosh Patnaik
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The sharks being readied for transportation at the fishing harbour in Visakhapatnam.Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam
The Hindu
The sharks being readied for transportation at the fishing harbour in Visakhapatnam.Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam

Known as ‘sora' in the local parlance, they are generally bought at Rs.50 to Rs.160 per kg

Sharks along with dolphins and whales are under threat due to their capture by tuna long-liners in the Bay of Bengal.

About two and a half dozen sharks each weighing 40 to 50 kg each were sold by some agents from Kerala at the fishing harbour here on Sunday.

Some of the shark species are listed on appendix-I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

Sharks known as ‘sora' in the local parlance are generally bought at Rs.50 to Rs.160 per kg based on the size and quality.

Sharks get higher price after processing and value addition.

Mostly crude equipment is used for cutting the skin and rustic choppers are deployed for slicing. They are found in the local harbour during early monsoon.

The sharks found on Sunday were of Carcharhinidae family and believed to be Carcharhinus limbatus.

The species level identification is possible only with thorough examination of its features, mainly dental structure, according to an expert.

Rajiv, who was busy shifting his ‘prize catch' to prospective customers, told this correspondent that the meat was in demand among some non-vegetarians in Kerala whereas the fin and tail were most sought-after in South East Asian countries for savouring as a soup.

The fin as well as the liver of the sharks is used as ingredients for preparation of various medicines.

When contacted, M.M. Prasad, Principal Scientist in-charge of the Central Fisheries Research Institute, Visakhapatnam Research Centre, told The Hindu that the Bay of Bengal coast was more diversified than the west coast with the availability of 18 species of sharks on the east coast.

In most cases, he said, sharks came as a by-catch, almost 25 per cent of tuna catch by tuna long-liners.

Dr. Prasad said sharks were poached by fishermen for not only meat, skin and fin but also for their aphrodisiac qualities.

Owing to their rare immunity potential, sharks generally do not suffer from diseases, according to him.

“Generally, sharks are not caught by local fishermen as one has to go deep into the sea to capture them.

Maybe by default, they are trapped,” said Ch. Satyanarayana Murthy, president of the Dolphin Boat Operators Welfare Association.

Keywords: shark hunt

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