A new species of bamboo shark has been discovered in eastern Indonesian waters near the island of Halmahera. Dr Gerald Allen, a research associate at the Western Australian Museum, described Hemiscyllium halmahera based on two specimens collected by the research team.
Bamboo sharks are unusual because of the way they “walk” by wriggling their bodies and pushing themselves along with their pelvic and pectoral fins. This new species reaches around 70 cm in length which is smaller than other bamboo sharks which can get to be as long as 122 cm.
The new species brings to nine those recognised in the Hemiscyllium genus. Four of these have been discovered in the last five years, highlighting just how little we really know about sharks and ocean life. This is just one more reason to demand more protection for sharks and to stop the destructive and dangerous industrial fishing methods that are endangering ocean life.