The ocean is full of sharks. It has big sharks, small sharks, dangerous sharks and, of course, walking sharks.
A new video went viral this week after a walking shark was discovered off the coast of Indonesia. The species is called a epaulette (long-tailed carpet) shark, or Hemiscyllium halmahera. But it’s common internet name is the walking shark.
Conservation International shark expert Fahmi said: “This is the third walking shark species to be described from eastern Indonesia in the past six years, which highlights our tremendous shark and ray biodiversity. We now know that six of the nine known walking shark species occur in Indonesian waters, and these animals are diver favorites with excellent potential to help grow our marine tourism industry.”
Indonesia’s waters are incredibly diverse and researchers continue to find new species. In 2006, two species of walking sharks were among 50 new species discovered off the coast of Indonesia.
Roger McManus, senior director for global marine conservation for the group, said at the time: “It’s an incredible place in both the number of species and the abundance of marine wildlife.”
Conservation International’s Mark Erdman said that Indonesia is home to at least 218 species of sharks and rays. Erdmann added that Indonesia, which was once the world leader in shark fin exports, has really started to focus on protecting its waters in recent years.
Erdmann said: “If you asked me a year ago about the long-term future of shark populations in Indonesia, I probably would have responded: ‘Bleak.'”
Here’s a video of the walking shark.
The walking shark video will bring more attention to the conversation efforts in Indonesia because, well, it’s pretty cool to see a shark walking on its fins. But cute animals aren’t the only ones that need protecting. There are also ongoing efforts to help protect some of the worlds, um, well, uglier animals.
You can read more about the walking shark here.