Have you seen the new species of walking shark discovered in Indonesia?
The walking shark seems like more proof that old SNL skits (no matter how absurd) were somewhat prescient… though this one isn’t delivering candygrams just yet.
Oceanophiles were excited by footage of the walking shark scurrying across the ocean floor with its fins, though the curious creature isn’t even the first of its kind.
Fahmi (one name only, like Cher) is Indonesia’s leading expert in all things shark, and he explains in a news release about the discovery that Indonesia is a hotspot for shark walking.
“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.”
Agus Dermawan, director of the Marine Conservation Directorate at the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, concurs. Dermawan says unique sea life can boost Indonesia’s bottom line, saying of the new shark footage and media attention:
“We now know, for instance, that a living manta ray is worth up to $1.9 million to our economy over the course of its lifetime, compared to a value of only $40 to $200 for its meat and gill rakers.”
The walking shark has also been hailed as a marker of a rise in Indonesian shark protection overall.