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Abstract

The first record of the Ganges shark Glyphis gangeticus from anywhere in its range in over a decade is reported from the Arabian Sea. One female specimen was recorded at Sassoon Docks in Mumbai, India in February 2016, measuring 266 cm total length. In light of the Critically Endangered status of this species and its rarity, urgent management actions are needed to determine population size and trends in abundance in combination with fisher education and awareness campaigns.

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... The most widely distributed is the Ganges Shark (G. gangeticus), with records from Borneo to Pakistan (Li et al. 2015), although its contemporary range is poorly defned due to its rarity and highly threatened status (Jabado et al. 2018). The Bay of Bengal may be particularly important for this species (Haque and Das 2019). ...
... glyphis) (Figure 18.1a) are restricted to northern Australia and southern Papua New Guinea (Feutry et al. 2020;Kyne et al. 2021a;Pillans et al. 2009;White et al. 2015). Maximum sizes are not well defned for river sharks, although they are large sharks: Ganges Sharks reach at least 266 cm TL but have been estimated to be ~275 cm TL from a set of jaws (Jabado et al. 2018); Northern River Sharks grow to 251 cm TL (Pillans et al. 2009), and Speartooth Sharks to ~260 cm TL . The Speartooth Shark is known from very few adult records , so its maximum size may be larger. ...
... These species occupy highly turbid waters and use salinities ranging from oceanic to freshwater, but with complex seasonal preferences and movements (Dwyer et al. 2019;2020;Lyon et al. 2017;Pillans et al. 2009). There is little detailed information on the habitat of the Ganges Shark, as most records come from jaws or landing sites (Haque and Das 2019;Jabado et al. 2018). It has been recorded from several large rivers including the Indus River in Pakistan, Irrawaddy River in Myanmar, and the Kinabatangan River in Borneo, but it has marine dispersal (Li et al. 2015). ...
... Glyphis gangeticus is arguably one of the rarest shark species with only a few records from the last century. Recent records include a single sighting in 2006 in Bangladesh, a specimen recorded from the Mumbai fish market (India) in 2016 (Jabado et al. 2018), and three specimens from Cox's Bazar (Bangladesh) in 2017 (Haque & Das 2019). The lack of records is indicative of local extirpation in some of its historical range, poor identification capacities by fishers and/or a very small population size (Jabado et al. 2018, Haque & Das 2019. ...
... Recent records include a single sighting in 2006 in Bangladesh, a specimen recorded from the Mumbai fish market (India) in 2016 (Jabado et al. 2018), and three specimens from Cox's Bazar (Bangladesh) in 2017 (Haque & Das 2019). The lack of records is indicative of local extirpation in some of its historical range, poor identification capacities by fishers and/or a very small population size (Jabado et al. 2018, Haque & Das 2019. ...
... Both India and Bangladesh have a long history of fishing, with both countries being ranked in the top 10 nations contributing to global shark and ray captures (Dent & Clarke 2015). Evidence of widespread overexploitation throughout its distribution, together with increased river use, pollution, habitat degradation and the construction dams and barrages on major waterways, poses a significant threat to the conservation status of G. gangeticus (Jabado et al. 2018). This species is protected under Schedule I, Part II A of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, and under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Conservation and Security) Act, in Bangladesh. ...
Chapter
Estuary‐associated fishes are threatened by a diversity of anthropogenic factors that occur at multiple spatial and temporal scales both within estuaries and their catchments. These factors include overexploitation, habitat degradation, disruption of essential ecological processes, hydrological manipulations, environmental pollution and, more recently, climate change and the impacts of introduced aquatic organisms. Various interventions and instruments that influence the conservation of estuarine habitats and fishes from an international level down to a local level are reviewed. Case studies on selected threatened species are presented to expose how a range of pressures have impacted on their populations, and the conservation measures taken or that are required to mitigate extinction risk.
... Within the western Indo-Pacific, the Ganges shark (G. gangeticus) has a widespread but patchy distribution (Jabado et al. 2018) (Table 1). Identification is based primarily on the jaws because whole individuals have rarely been found and examined. ...
... On 13 November 2017, a whole specimen of Glyphis gangeticus (S1) was identified from the Bang ladesh Fisheries Development Corporation (BFDC) landing site, Cox's Bazar (Fig. 1). The identification of the specimen ( Fig. 2A,B) was based on the combination of the characteristics described in Compagno (2001), Ebert et al. (2013), and Jabado et al. (2018). The specimen was a male and had relatively small eyes; a short, broad and rounded snout; no interdorsal ridge; the 1st dorsal fin originated from the rear ends of the pectoral bases; the 2nd dorsal fin was almost half the height of the 1st dorsal fin; and the anal fin had a deeply notched posterior margin (Table S1 in the Supplement). ...
... Therefore, this publication is the first verified report of a G. gangeticus specimen from Ban gladesh within its home range in over a decade. There was only one previous recent record from the Arabian Sea (Jabado et al. 2018). This indicates the importance of studying this elusive species more comprehensively within its range. ...
Article
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The different species of elasmobranch found in Bangladeshi fisheries and markets were quantified in a survey between February 2016 and November 2017. This resulted in records of the Critically Endangered Ganges shark Glyphis gangeticus (Müller & Henle, 1839) in the waters of Bangladesh. Three records from the landing sites and shark processing centres of Cox’s Bazar in southeast Bangladesh were identified and confirmed as G. gangeticus by sequencing the expression of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene and by the morphological identification of 1 individual. These represent the most recent records of this species in Bangladesh in over a decade, and only the second set of records from anywhere within the range of this elusive shark. Capture dates and traders’ knowledge of these catches suggest a year-round distribution, indicating a population within the Bay of Bengal and adjacent coastal rivers. Although the species is protected under Bangladeshi law, enforcement of the law is inadequate. Monitoring for this, and other, rare and threatened species at landing sites, rigorous surveys to locate any existing populations, trade regulation, and enforcement of conservation legislation should be considered priorities for effective conservation.
... Northern Australia is presently the only nation where viable populations of G. garricki (Feutry et al., 2020), G. glyphis (Feutry et al., 2017), and four Indo-Pacific sawfish species (e.g., Peverell, 2005;Morgan et al., 2011) are known to occur. Elsewhere in the Indo-Pacific, distributions of river shark and sawfish species are generally fragmented (e.g., Elhassan, 2018), and reported encounters are infrequent (White et al., 2015;Jabado et al., 2018). However, many Indo-Pacific regions are poorly studied, and there is a need for further investigation into the status of river sharks and sawfishes in these areas. ...
Article
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The conservation of threatened elasmobranchs in tropical regions is challenging due to high local reliance on aquatic and marine resources. Due primarily to fishing pressure, river sharks (Glyphis) and sawfishes (Pristidae) have experienced large population declines in the Indo-Pacific. Papua New Guinea (PNG) may offer a refuge for these species, as human population density is low, and river shark and sawfish populations are thought to persist. However, few data are available on these species in PNG, and risk posed by small-scale fishers is poorly understood. This study observed elasmobranch catches in small-scale fisheries in riverine and coastal environments in the East Sepik (northern region), Gulf, and Western Provinces (southern region) of PNG. Surveys were conducted over a period of weeks to months in each region, during the dry season across seven field trips from 2017 to 2020. We observed a total of 783 elasmobranchs encompassing 38 species from 10 families. River sharks made up 29.4% of observations in the southern region, while sawfishes made up 14.8 and 20.3% in the northern and southern regions, respectively. River sharks were commonly caught by small-scale fishers in lower riverine environments in southern PNG, while sawfishes were generally less common and mainly observed through dried rostra. The primary threat to river shark and sawfish populations is their capture by small-scale fishers targeting teleosts for swim bladder. Persisting populations of river sharks and sawfishes indicate that PNG is the second known nation with viable populations of multiple species in the Indo-Pacific. However, populations are declining or at high risk of decline, and fisheries management and conservation are required to realize the potential of PNG as a long-term refuge.
... The river sharks (Glyphis spp.) are highly threatened euryhaline sharks of the Indo-West Pacific, characterised by taxonomic uncertainty, poorly-defined distributions, and a lack of ecological data (Li et al., 2015). One species, the Ganges Shark (Glyphis gangeticus) faces immense human pressure in Southeast Asia and the Arabian Sea, with only rare contemporary records (Jabado, Kyne, Nazareth, & Sutaria, 2018;Li et al., 2015). In contrast, two species, the Speartooth Shark (Glyphis glyphis) and the Northern River Shark (Glyphis garricki), occur in relatively undisturbed environments of northern Australia where low human population size and the remoteness of the landscape have limited development pressure, and many estuaries are in near-pristine conditions (Pillans, Stevens, Kyne, & Salini, 2010;Woinarski, Mackey, Nix, & Traill, 2007). ...
Article
With recent advances in sequencing technology, genomic data are changing how important conservation management decisions are made. Applications such as Close‐Kin Mark‐Recapture demand large amounts of data to estimate population size and structure, and their full potential can only be realised through ongoing improvements in genotyping strategies. Here we introduce DArTcap, a cost‐efficient method that combines DArTseq and sequence capture, and illustrate its use in a high resolution population analysis of Glyphis garricki , a rare, poorly known and threatened euryhaline shark. Clustering analyses and spatial distribution of kin pairs from four different regions across northern Australia and one in Papua New Guinea, representing its entire known range, revealed that each region hosts at least one distinct population. Further structuring is likely within Van Diemen Gulf, the region that included the most rivers sampled, suggesting additional population structuring would be found if other rivers were sampled. Coalescent analyses and spatially explicit modelling suggest that G. garricki experienced a recent range expansion during the opening of the Gulf of Carpentaria following the conclusion of the Last Glacial Maximum. The low migration rates between neighbouring populations of a species that is found only in restricted coastal and riverine habitats show the importance of managing each population separately, including careful monitoring of local and remote anthropogenic activities that may affect their environments. Overall we demonstrated how a carefully chosen SNP panel combined with DArTcap can provide highly accurate kinship inference and also support population structure and historical demography analyses, therefore maximising cost‐effectiveness.
... Indeed, the precipitous decline in its abundance and a recent record of the Ganges shark suggests that existing protection mechanisms are not achieving their expected results (e.g. Jabado et al. 2018). For long-term conservation strategies to be effective, campaigns aimed at species identification and directed towards fishers and traders in various locations will be critical to help maintain shark populations and prevent extinctions. ...
Article
This study evaluates local-scale drivers of shark harvests in India, one of the world’s largest shark fishing nations. Focusing on key harbours in the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra, which together contribute 54% of India’s shark harvest, this study uses a semi-structured survey to examine the practices of shark fishers and traders, their knowledge of shark trade and policy, and perceptions of shark declines. Findings indicate that a domestic market for shark meat is presently the main local driver for harvests rather than the global trade in shark fins. Sharks are mostly non-target catch, landed whole, contributing to the protein needs of coastal communities. Consumer demand is the greatest for small-bodied and juvenile sharks. Perceived steep declines in shark numbers and sizes have had economic impacts on fishers and traders. The unregulated domestic market for shark meat is a key challenge requiring nuanced local approaches that diverge from global shark conservation priorities.
Technical Report
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CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) wasopened for signature in Washington DC on 3rd March 1973, and to date has 184 Parties from across the world. If CITES is to remain a credible instrument for conserving species affected by trade, the decisions of the Parties must be based on the best available scientific and technical information. Recognizing this, IUCN and TRAFFIC have undertaken technical reviews of the proposals to amend the CITES Appendices submitted to the Nineteenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP19). The Analyses - as these technical reviews are known - aim to provide as objective an assessment as possible of each amendment proposal against the requirements of the Convention, as agreed by Parties and laid out in the listing criteria elaborated in Resolution Conf. 9.24 (Rev. CoP17) and other relevant Resolutions and Decisions. To ensure the Analyses are as accessible as possible to all Parties, we have created a bespoke webpage where the Analyses can be downloaded individually by proposal or in full (see https://citesanalyses.iucnredlist.org/).
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This article is the first comprehensive scholarly introduction to the century-old conflict between humans and ‘Kamots’ (the local term for sharks) in the Sundarbans, West Bengal, India. Historically, humans predated on sharks, and sometimes, the sharks predated on humans. Utilizing a multispecies and knowledge system lens, this article explores the conflict between two species who effectively impact each other’s lives and waterscapes they share in the brackish contact zone of the Hooghly River. Primarily based on local knowledge system, we create some baseline information about this conflict and attempt to describe the local understanding of Kamot; incidents of Kamot bites and the circumstance of occurrence; the effect of these bites on the people, how they were treated, and finally attempt to identify the traumatogenic sharks of the region which might be associated with the bites.
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The Adelaide River in Australia's Northern Territory is a popular recreational fishing area, as well as habitat for threatened and protected river sharks (Glyphis species). Both the Critically Endangered Speartooth Shark (Glyphis glyphis) and Endangered Northern River Shark (Glyphis garricki) are identified here in illegal catches from recreational angling. The identification of a decayed shark specimen using a DNA barcoding-like approach is the first such application to the identification of protected sharks in a recreational fishery. While the extent of catches by recreational anglers is unknown, the threatened status of these sharks, their suspected low population sizes, restricted distributions and importance of the Adelaide River as a nursery area call for the consideration of this as a potential conservation issue. As such, appropriate measures should be taken to reduce interactions with recreational anglers. The primary target species in the river is the iconic sportfish, Barramundi, which is predominantly caught by unbaited lure. Sharks are rarely caught on lure, allowing an opportunity for mitigation to focus on a fishing activity (baited hooks) which would limit any regulatory impact on popular lure fishing. Potential mitigation measures range from increased angler education and compliance checks, to the implementation of a spatial closure to baited hook fishing (a lure-only zone). Such measures may assist in meeting a stated objective of the Australian Government's river shark Recovery Plan to ‘reduce and, where possible, eliminate adverse impacts of recreational fishing'.
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The depletion/collapse and recovery of tropical marine fish stocks have been studied by deriving the time-series of stock status of commercially fished marine species in Karnataka. Majority of stocks (22 out of 47) showed wide fluctuations in catch whereas 15 stocks were dwindling. This analysis of catch trends (as a simple proxy for biomass estimates) shows that, in spite of consistently increasing efforts and absence of many regulatory measures, most species (66%) had fast recovery capacity within 1-5 years whereas 9% were slow to recover. The depleted and declining stocks need to be carefully monitored and conservation and rebuilding plans need to be made.
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For over a hundred years, the “river sharks” of the genus Glyphis were only known from the type specimens of species that had been collected in the 19th century. They were widely considered extinct until populations of Glyphis-like sharks were rediscovered in remote regions of Borneo and Northern Australia at the end of the 20th century. However, the genetic affinities between the newly discovered Glyphis-like populations and the poorly preserved, original museum-type specimens have never been established. Here, we present the first (to our knowledge) fully resolved, complete phylogeny of Glyphis that includes both archival-type specimens and modern material. We used a sensitive DNA hybridization capture method to obtain complete mitochondrial genomes from all of our samples and show that three of the five described river shark species are probably conspecific and widely distributed in Southeast Asia. Furthermore we show that there has been recent gene flow between locations that are separated by large oceanic expanses. Our data strongly suggest marine dispersal in these species, overturning the widely held notion that river sharks are restricted to freshwater. It seems that species in the genus Glyphis are euryhaline with an ecology similar to the bull shark, in which adult individuals live in the ocean while the young grow up in river habitats with reduced predation pressure. Finally, we discovered a previously unidentified species within the genus Glyphis that is deeply divergent from all other lineages, underscoring the current lack of knowledge about the biodiversity and ecology of these mysterious sharks.
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Recent surveys of the shark and ray catches of artisanal fishers in the Western Province of Papua New Guinea (PNG) resulted in the rediscovery of the threatened river sharks, Glyphis garricki and Glyphis glyphis. These represent the first records of both species in PNG since the 1960s and 1970s and highlight the lack of studies of shark biodiversity in PNG. Two individuals of G. garricki and three individuals of G. glyphis were recorded from coastal marine waters of the Daru region of PNG in October and November 2014. The two G. garricki specimens were small individuals estimated to be 100–105 cm and ~113 cm total length (TL). The three G. glyphis specimens were all mature, one a pregnant female and two adult males. These are the first adults of G. glyphis recorded to date providing a more accurate maximum size for this species, i.e. ~260 cm TL. A single pup which was released from the pregnant female G. glyphis, was estimated to be ~65 cm TL. Anecdotal information from the fishers of pregnant females of G. glyphis containing 6 or 7 pups provides the first estimate of litter size for this species. The jaws of the pregnant female G. glyphis were retained and a detailed description of the dentition is provided, since adult dentition has not been previously documented for this species. Genetic analyses confirmed the two species cluster well within samples from these species collected in northern Australia.
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This document entitled “Guidance on National Plan of Action for Sharks in India” is intended as a guidance to the NPOA-Sharks, and seeks to (1) present an overview of the current status of India’s shark fishery, (2) assess the current management measures and their effectiveness, (3) identify the knowledge gaps that need to be addressed in NPOA-Sharks and (4) suggest a theme-based action plan for NPOA-Sharks.
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Elasmobranchs comprising sharks, skates and rays have traditionally formed an important fishery along the Indian coast. Since 2000, Indian shark fishermen are shifting their fishing operations to deeper/oceanic waters by conducting multiday fishing trips, which has resulted in considerable changes in the species composition of the landings vis- a-vis those reported during the 1980's and 1990's. A case study at Cochin Fisheries Harbour (CFH), southwest coast of India during 2008-09 indicated that besides the existing gillnet-cum- hooks & line and longline fishery for sharks, a targeted fishery at depths >300-1000 m for gulper sharks (Centrophorus spp.) has emerged. In 2008, the chondrichthyan landings (excluding batoids) were mainly constituted by offshore and deep-sea species such as Alopias superciliosus (24.2%), Carcharhinus limbatus (21.1%), Echinorhinus brucus (8.2%), Galeocerdo cuvier (5.4%), Centrophorus spp. (7.3%) and Neoharriotta pinnata (4.2%) while the contribution by the coastal species such as Sphyrna lewini (14.8%), Carcharhinus sorrah (1.4%) and other Carcharhinus spp. has reduced. Several deep-sea sharks previously not recorded in the landings at Cochin were also observed during 2008-09. It includes Hexanchus griseus, Deania profundorum, Zameus squamulosus and Pygmy false catshark (undescribed) which have been reported for the first time from Indian waters. Life history characteristics of the major fished species are discussed in relation to the fishery and its possible impacts on the resource.
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Measuring population connectivity is a critical task in conservation biology. While genetic markers can provide reliable long-term historical estimates of population connectivity, scientists are still limited in their ability to determine contemporary patterns of gene flow, the most practical time frame for management. Here, we tackled this issue by developing a new approach that only requires juvenile sampling at a single time period. To demonstrate the usefulness of our method, we used the Speartooth shark (Glyphis glyphis), a critically endangered species of river sharks found only in tropical northern Australia and southern Papua New Guinea. Contemporary adult and juvenile shark movements, estimated with the spatial distribution of kin pairs across and within three river systems, was contrasted with historical long-term connectivity patterns, estimated from mitogenomes and genome-wide SNP data. We found strong support for river fidelity in juveniles with the within-cohort relationship analysis. Male breeding movements were highlighted with the cross-cohort relationship analysis and female reproductive philopatry to the river systems was revealed by the mitogenomic analysis. We show that accounting for juvenile river fidelity and female philopatry is important in population structure analysis and that targeting sampling in nurseries and juveniles aggregation should be included in the genomic toolbox of threatened species management. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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Lucifora et all introduce the biology of elasmobranchs -sharks and rays - living in freshwater.
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The genus Glyphis comprises a group of rare and poorly known species. G. glyphis and G. garricki are found in northern Australia, and both species are listed as Critically Endangered C2a(i) on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. We collated all available records of G. glyphis and G. garricki in Australia to gain an understanding of the species' distribution and biology. All records of G. glyphis (n = 106) were confined to 9 tropical rivers and estuaries north of 15° S. G. garricki (n = 32) were captured in 4 rivers and estuaries as well as in marine environments north of 18° S. Both species can be classified as euryhaline elasmobranchs. Parturition is thought to occur in October to December, and size at birth for both species is around 50 to 65 cm total length (TL). Two male G. garricki were mature at 142 and 144 cm TL, 2 females of 177 and 251 cm TL were mature, with the smaller animal having 9 early-stage embryos in utero. No mature G. glyphis have been recorded to date. Short-term movement patterns of 3 G. glyphis were investigated in the Adelaide River (Northern Territory) using acoustic tags. Animals were tracked for 27.8, 27.0 and 50.2 h respectively and displayed up- and downstream tidally assisted movement, moving on average 10 to 12 km per tide. The limited distribution, specific habitat requirements and repeated use of available habitat make Glyphis species particularly vulnerable to localised overfish- ing and habitat degradation. These findings highlight the need for additional research and the imple- mentation of national recovery plans for both species.
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