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Indian sharks, rays and chimaeras face high risk of extinction

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    19th Dec, 2020


  • According to the IUCN assessment, 11% of Indian sharks, rays and chimaeras face high risk of extinction.

What are the findings?

  • It revealed that of the 170 species found across the oceans of the country, 19 (about 11%) are facing high risk of extinction.
  • These are classified as Critically Endangered (CE).

What are the main threats?

  • Overfishing and illegal fishing of sharksfor their fins is depleting populations worldwide.
  • There is often a general lack of even basic management monitoring, control, and surveillance of many fisheries.

Indian Sharks

  • There are six species of river sharks found in the world, out of which the Ganges sharkis endemic to India.
  • It inhabits the River Hooghly in West Bengal, as well as the rivers Ganges, Brahmaputra, Mahanadi in the states of Bihar, Assam and Orissa.
  • While some of the other river sharks are also known to inhabit saltwater.
  • It is amongst the 20 most threatened shark species and is listed as a Critically Endangered species in the IUCN Redlist.
  • It is protected under Schedule I, Part II A of the Wildlife (Protection) Act of India, 1972.


  • It is also known as ghost sharks, rat fish, spook fish and rabbit fish.

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