1 Tahrcountry Musings: World's biggest fish getting smaller

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

World's biggest fish getting smaller

Whale sharks (Rhincodon typus), the world's largest fish are getting smaller according to researchers of Australian Institute of Marine Science. Whale sharks are caught for food in some East Asian countries and Australian researchers suspect the unbridled fishing is causing a decline. In the last decade the average size of shark is down from seven metres to five metres. Under the IUCN Red List of threatened species, Whale sharks are categorised as "vulnerable" to extinction and they have been added to CITES list of species threatened by international trade. Efforts are on to ensure better protection to this threatened species.


tahrman said...

Whale sharks do not reach sexual maturity until they reach around 6 to 7 metres.In many Asian countries smaller sized sharks are regularly caught for food.This could be one of the reasons for the decline. Educating and showing alternatives to fishermen is likely to work better than bringing in stringent laws.

Prasanth Kodai said...

Yes many Asian countries do consume smaller sized sharks.I never knew that this could be causing a decline in their population.Yes education is more important than drafting punitive laws.Many consume this as they have no other alternatives.Alternative incentives have to be found.