Anglers at Changi catch & release bamboo shark because it is near-threatened species

Happy ending for the shark.

Sumita Thiagarajan | August 07, 2020, 03:45 PM

Anglers who were fishing off Changi caught and released a brown-banded bamboo shark in Singapore on August 1, 2020.

The species was identified by Marine Stewards, a nonprofit group promotes marine conservation and sustainable fishing in Singapore.

The shark was later released by the anglers, as seen from the following video by Marine Stewards.

In the video, a person is seen handling the bamboo shark by its tail before throwing it overboard into the sea.

According to the IUCN Red List, the brownbanded bamboo shark is classified as "near threatened", which means that it does not qualify for the categories of Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable for now, but it could be in those categories in the near future.

Non-profit group, Marine Stewards, told Mothership that members of the public can refer to their sustainable fishing guide to find out the best practices on sport fishing in Singapore.

The guide features what species should be released into our waters after being caught, such as endangered species or young fishes which have not reached maturity to reduce the threat of overfishing.

What are bamboo sharks?

According to FishBase, bamboo sharks are small, slender sharks, that grow up to one metre in length and are found in tropical waters.

These fishes most likely feed on small fishes and invertebrates that they find on the bottom of reefs and are "relatively sluggish and harmless".

In Singapore, five species of bamboo sharks have been recorded locally, according to Singapore Biodiversity Records.

The five species that have been recorded in Singapore waters include:

  • Brown-banded bamboo shark
  • Grey bamboo shark
  • Slender bamboo shark
  • White-spotted bamboo shark
  • Indonesian bamboo shark

Top image via Marine Stewards/FB