Shark Diversity in the Arabian Sea

Written by on October 11, 2012 in Marine Life, Policy & Ocean Law

A recent conference, hosted in Dubai, discussed the future of sharks in the Arabian Sea, a region that researchers believe contains important shark breeding grounds.

Shark populations in the area are known to be genetically diverse, an important factor for shark conservation.  Of the four most genetically distinct areas, one includes the Arabian Sea, the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea.

“In the Arabian Sea there are 47 threatened species, six are critically endangered, six are endangered and a further 35 are vulnerable,” explained IUCN Shark Specialist Group scientist Dr. Nick Dulvy at the Shark Conservation in Arabia Workshop.

“This doesn’t necessarily mean they are under threat in this region, this mean that their global status is vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered.  But it highlights that there are opportunities within this region to secure the status of these species globally.”

Additional research is required to determine the exact status of those shark species in the Arabian Sea.  Shark research has just begun in this part of the world; the first study was conducted only three years ago.

“What’s not in the Red List is the hidden diversity,” Dulvy added.  “The more work we do in this region the more we realize that there’s a whole series of different shark species that have been discovered or rediscovered in the last 10 years.”

Whale Shark. A 40 foot whale shark was found dead in the Arabian Sea earlier this year.

Whale Shark. A 40 foot whale shark was found dead in the Arabian Sea earlier this year. Photo credit: NOAA.

To learn more:
Read a summary from the International Fund for Animal Welfare: Shark conservation in Arabia workshop starts in UAE

Copyright © 2012 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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