Dr. Mark Erdmann recently posted an article discussing how the recent discovery of a “walking” bamboo shark highlights a shift in Indonesia’s shark conservation attitude. According to Erdmann, Indonesia has gone from leading the world in the export of dried shark fins for almost three decades to creating regulations to protect elasmobranchs (including shark and ray sanctuaries in Raja Ampat and West Manggarai). Erdmann cites an increased awareness of the importance of sharks due to both their role in the ecosystem and potential economic value through eco-tourism.
Scientific discoveries such as the newly discovered ‘walking’ shark (Hemiscyllium halmahera) present an opportunity to the government and local business to promote tourism to Indonesia. The species of bamboo shark uses its fins to ‘walk’ along the ocean floor and could potentially serve as symbol for marine conservation efforts in the region.
For more information, check out the full story at the Conservation International Blog.