Halmahera, a new species of small bamboo shark discovered in the Maluku Islands of eastern Indonesia. Image by Mark Erdmann/Conservation International. Jakarta, Indonesia – A highly charismatic species of walking shark has been discovered in the remote eastern Indonesian island of Halmahera. The epaulette (long tailed carpet) shark, Hemiscyllium halmahera, uses its fins to “walk” across the ocean floor in search of small fish and crustaceans. The discovery comes at a time when Indonesia is significantly ramping up its efforts to protect shark and ray species that are now considered vulnerable to extinction, including whale sharks and manta rays. Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelagic nation with a marine area of over 5.8 million km2 (including a 2.55 million km2 EEZ), and harbors a vast wealth of marine resources. Among these is an amazing diversity of marine life; besides hosting well over 75% of the world’s coral species, Indonesia also is home to at least 218 species of sharks and rays. “This is the third walking shark species to be described from eastern Indonesia in the past six years, which highlights our tremendous shark and ray biodiversity,” said Fahmi, a shark expert at the MORE: New “Walking Shark” Species Discovered

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