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Abstract

Outreach Book on Sharks and Rays in Malvan, Maharashtra
Sharks And Rays
Of Malvan
This outreach book has been created by Trisha Gupta,
Kaustubh Warde, Chetan Rao, Muralidharan M. and Kartik
Shanker from Dakshin Foundation, in collaboration with the
Mangrove Foundation of Maharashtra.
We would like to thank all the people of Malvan for their
support during our study there. We would also like to thank
Naveen Namboothri, Alissa Barnes, Shruthi Kottillil, Sudha
Kottillil and Aloknath Baral for their contributions to this
book. Finally, we thank Madhavi Rao for translating this
book to Marathi.
Art Editing and Illustrations: Manini Bansal
Design and Layout: Mohor Mukherjee and Manini Bansal
Funding and Support:
Dakshin Foundation
Mangrove Foundation
Duleep Matthai Nature Conservation Trust
Legend Legend
Vulnerable/
Near Threatened
Capture and sale
of that species
permitted in India
Habitat of that
species
Endangered/
Critically Endangered
Capture and sale of
that species banned
in India
Maximum size
of that species
Fish
Small
sh
Shrimp
Small
shrimp
Squid
Shark
Ray
Crab
Shellsh/
Bivalve
Turtle
Jellysh
Worm
What are Sharks and Rays? Habitat and Breeding
What is the difference between
males and females?
Sharks and rays are a group of sh. They are unique due to their
cartilaginous skeleton, unlike ‘bony sh’ such as mackerel.
There are about 1150 species of sharks and rays across the world.
More than 160 species are found in India.
Sharks and rays are found in all parts of the world, in shallow
and deep waters.
Some sharks and rays are migratory and travel across the world.
Most sharks and rays give birth to their young, while some lay eggs.
They go to specic areas in the ocean for this.
Males and females of sharks and rays can be easily identied.
Males have a pair of ‘claspers’ below their belly. This is absent
for females.
Claspers are used for breeding.
Sharks generally have a long and cylindrical sh-like body with prominent
ns.
They can be as small as 1 foot to as big as at least 55 feet.
Most species are known to be fast swimmers
Rays have a attened body, and can have different shapes.
They can be as small as 1 foot to as big as 22 feet
Most species live on or near the ocean oor
Sharks
Rays
Male
Female
Habitat and Breeding
Some species give birth
in mangrove areas
Some species give
birth near rocks
Some species lay eggs
near corals
Threats Why protect sharks and rays?
Bony sh lay thousands to millions
of eggs to reproduce
Sharks feed on sh like sardine,
which in turn feed on shrimp
They maintain balance in ocean
ecosystems
If sharks disappeared:
The whole food chain
may collapse
Most sharks and rays give birth in very
small numbers
This makes sharks and rays very vulnerable to shing pressure.
When they get overshed, their populations decrease and cannot recover
as fast as bony sh populations.
Because of high levels of shing, pollution and coastal development,
sharks and rays are declining all across the world.
Sharks and rays are important in maintaining balance
in the ocean
Sharks and Rays of Malvan How can Sharks and Rays be Protected?
Trawl net Shore
seine
They are important for the
livelihoods of many people.
The small-sized species are
also food sources for many
households in Sindhudurg.
It is important to nd ways to sustainably sh sharks and rays, to
maintain ecosystem balance and also protect the livelihoods and food
needs of local communities.
Hook Gillnet
At least 14 species of sharks and 18 species of rays have been found
around Sindhudurg.
They are captured by all types of shing boats and gear
Protected Species
Pondicherry shark
Ganges shark
Green sawsh
Narrow sawsh
Porcupine ray
Speartooth shark
Whale shark
Largetooth sawsh
Giant guitarsh
Ganges sting ray
10 species of sharks and rays are protected by law in India. Their capture
and sale is banned.
Some protected species – like whale shark (behera) and sawsh (karvat)
are found around Sindhudurg.
Selling and exporting of shark ns are also banned.
How can Sharks and Rays be Protected?
Our work here has shown that many juvenile sharks and rays also get
captured in Malvan.
Releasing juveniles means that they can be shed when they are larger
and fetch a better price.
If you accidentally catch
a protected species,
please release it safely
into the ocean
If you catch any small
juveniles of any species,
please release them live,
if you can.
Common
shark and
ray species
of Malvan
English: Spadenose Shark Marathi: Chavalyara English: Common Blacktip Shark Marathi: Vato
English: Hammerhead Shark Marathi: Fiski English: Bamboo Shark Marathi: Suniar
Near
Threatened
Near
Threatened
Critically
Endangered
Near
Threatened
Diet: Squid, Shrimp, Small sh Diet: Sardine, Mackerel, Sharks, Rays
Diet: Sardine, Squid Diet: Shrimp, Small sh
While feeding, these sharks sometimes breach the water and spin.
They come nearshore to give birth, during and after monsoon.
Juveniles are especially captured in shing boats during this time.
This is the most landed shark species in Malvan. These sharks breed
throughout the year
This shark is commonly found in Sindhudurg. It lives near the sea
oor. It lays eggs around rocks or coral reefs. They take 80-90 days
to hatch. These sharks form a cheap and important food source in
Sindhudurg
These sharks are migratory and can travel long distances across the
world. The hammer-shaped head helps in catching prey. Pregnant
females come close to shore to give birth from September to January,
after 9-12 months gestation. Juveniles aggregate in shallow coastal
waters - where they get capture in shing nets.
Have you seen
this species?
Have you seen
this species?
Have you seen
this species?
Have you seen
this species?
Yes Yes
Yes Yes
No No
No No
Capture
allowed
Capture
allowed
Capture
allowed
Capture
allowed
Habitat: Nearshore
waters, rocky areas,
sometimes rivers
Habitat: Nearshore,
around corals, rocks
& estuaries
Habitat:
offshore, sandy
regions
Habitat:
Nearshore waters,
around corals,
rocky areas.
Breeding: Give
birth, 6-18 at a
time
Breeding: Give
birth, 4-11 at a
time
Breeding: Give
birth, 12-41 at a
time
Breeding: Lay eggs,
2-4 at a time
Up to
2.5 feet
Up to
8.5 feet
Up to
14 feet
Up to
2.5 feet
English: Eagle ray Marathi: Bhend
Endangered
Diet: Crab, Bivalve
At least two species are found around Malvan. They live near the sea
oor and are generally found in groups. They are especially active at
night. In Malvan they are captured especially by small boats.
Guitarsh populations have declined across the world and are
under threat
This is a broad and heavy shark, commonly found across the world
in warm waters. They often go to rivers and creeks to give birth.
The juveniles are sometimes captured by small boats. Around
Malvan, these sharks are especially captured between Jan - May
At least two species are commonly
found around Malvan.
They live near the sea surface, and
sometimes leap out of the water.
They come close to shore to give
birth, after 12 months of gestation.
In Malvan, juveniles are especially
captured between May - November
This is the largest sh in the world but is harmless to humans. It is
migratory and travels across the world. Females come close to shore to
give birth, where they are vulnerable to capture. They have declined due
to high shing pressure, and their capture is now banned.
Have you seen this
species?
Yes No
Capture allowed
Habitat: shallow and
deeper waters, near
corals and estuaries
Breeding: Give
birth, 1-4 at a time
Up to 10
feet wide
English: Guitarsh Marathi: Fadka, KharaEnglish: Bull Shark Marathi: Mori
English: Whale Shark Marathi: Behera
Critically
Endangered
Near
Threatened
Endangered
Diet: Shrimp, Crab, ShellshDiet: Fish, Sharks, Rays, Turtles
Diet: Tiny shrimp, Fish spawn
Have you seen
this species?
Have you seen
this species?
Have you seen
this species?
YesYes
Yes
NoNo
No
Capture
allowed
Capture
allowed
Capture
banned
Habitat: Nearshore
sandy regions
Habitat: Nearshore
waters as well as
in rivers
Habitat: Inhabits
coastal and deep
offshore waters
Breeding: Give
birth, 4-18 at a
time
Breeding: Gives
birth, 1-13 at a time
Breeding: Gives
birth, number
unknown
Up to
7.5 feet
Up to
11 feet
Up to
55 feet
This is a small ray, with blue-grey
spots on its body. These rays live
near the sea oor. They sometimes
bury themselves in the sea oor
to nd their prey. They have one
venomous sting, which can be
harmful to humans.
These rays can grow to a large size.
They are easily identied by the
pattern of spots on their skin.
They sometimes swim into rivers
to feed.
These rays live near the sea oor.
They have one venomous sting, but
are not very harmful to humans.
Breeding occurs throughout the
year. In Malvan, juveniles captured
by trawlers, adults are captured by
gillnets and line shers.
This is the most commonly landed
ray species in Malvan. They live
near the sea oor. Breeding
occurs throughout the year. In
Malvan, these rays are captured
throughout the year by trawlers
and gillnets.
English: Honeycomb/Leopard ray Marathi: WaghulEnglish: Scaly ray Marathi: Waghul
English: White spotted ray Marathi: Waghul English: Blue spotted ray Marathi: Bhend
VulnerableNear
Threatened
Vulnerable Data Decient
Diet: Shrimp, Small sh,
Jellysh
Diet: Small shrimps, Crab
Diet: Shrimp, Crab,
Bivalves
Diet: Shrimps, Worms
Have you seen this
species?
Have you seen this
species?
Have you seen this
species?
Have you seen this
species?
YesYes
Yes Yes
NoNo
No No
Capture allowedCapture allowed
Capture allowed Capture allowed
Habitat: Nearshore
sandy and muddy
areas
Habitat: Nearshore
sandy areas
Habitat: Nearshore
sandy areas
Habitat: Near rocks
and corals, in shallow
and deep waters
Breeding: Give
birth, number
unknown
Breeding: Give
birth, 1-3 at a time
Breeding: Give
birth, 1-4 at a time
Breeding: Give
birth, 1-2 at a time
Up to 6
feet wide
Up to 1
foot wide
Up to 4
feet wide
Up to 1.5
feet wide
Match the species with their prey
Match the species with their habitat
Spadenose sharks Worms
Sea oor at night
Bull sharks
Hammerhead sharks
Guitarsh
Scaly ray
Bivalves
Nearshore sandy
areas
Mackerel
Rivers
Squid
Offshore, in deeper
waters
Blacktip sharks
Blue-spotted ray
Eagle ray
For more information, contact:
www.dakshin.org
dakshinfoundation.india@gmail.com
trishagupta0405@gmail.com
Phone: +91 80 42113509
Photos and icons have been used under the creative
commons license from the following sources:
https://shesofaustralia.net.au/
Fishes of Mainland Southeast Asia
NOAA: https://www.noaa.gov/
Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org
https://zt2downloadlibrary.fandom.com/wiki/Whale_Shark_%28Ze-
rosvalmont%29
Bold Systems - Taxonomy browser
Noun Project: https://www.nounproject.com
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