A group of fishermen got the catch of a lifetime when they accidentally reeled in an "extremely rare" 250kg shark after it got caught in their nets off Karnataka, in India, last week.
The sawfish or Carpenter shark, known for its long, narrow nose lined with sharp teeth, is an endangered and protected species in India and in other parts of the world. So what the fishermen reportedly did next could land them in hot water.
Although it was suspected to be an accidental catch, the fish was allegedly auctioned off to a trader which, under Indian law, can result in imprisonment, according to the New Indian Express.
The killing of the animal attracts the same penalty as killing a tiger or an elephant.
Ganesh K, joint director from the fisheries department, told the Times of India that an inquiry has been initiated by the wildlife division with officials to investigate the circumstance surrounding the catch.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), all seven species of sawfish are listed as Critically Endangered. There are thought to be as few as 5,000 adults remaining in the world.
People angered by catch of rare shark
A video posted to social media shows the huge shark being lifted out of the boat by a crane at Malpe Fishing Harbour while people gather around to catch a glimpse of the rare sea creature.
Local reports say the captured sawfish was already dead when it was pulled from the water and sold off, but their saws are often dried and sold as novelty items, Newsweek reports.
People on social media were angered by the catch with many insisting the sawfish should have been left in the water.
"If it was caught in the [net] why would they put that back?" one person questioned.
"Why was it [brought] to land?" said another."
Others called for the fisherman and the buyers of the fish to be punished.
An extremely rare & endangered species of carpenter shark (sawfish) was caught in fishnets at Malpe on Thursday. 🦈
The huge carpenter shark weighed around 250 kgs, was accidentally trapped in the nets of a boat named 'Sea Captain' that had left Malpe port to fish in deep waters pic.twitter.com/3AimndOv1I
— Mangalore City (@MangaloreCity) March 12, 2022
Bizarre shark-creature found in New Zealand water
A rare baby ghost shark was recently spotted by scientists off the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island.
The bizarre-looking deep-sea creature is believed to have hatched not long before being found according to fisheries scientist Brit Finucci who was part of the team that made the discovery.
The rare ghost shark, also known as chimaeras, are relatives of sharks and rays, and are usually found in very deep waters, meaning they're not often seen by humans.
So the team at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) were extremely excited by their discovery about 1.2km underwater near Chatham Rise.
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