- to enhance human resource development in elasmobranch taxonomy,
- to improve landing data recording from generic ‘sharks’ and ‘rays’ to species level,
- to increase awareness on conservation, and
- to use data for Non-Detriment Findings (NDFs) study for sharks and rays
Malaysia is a home to a rich diversity of sharks, rays, skate and chimaeras (Class Chondrichthyes). However, sharks and rays landings contribute only about 1% and 2% of total marine landings respectively. Until 2016, Malaysia recorded 162 species of Chondrichthyans comprising 70 sharks, 85 rays, six skates and one chimaera, belonging to 18 families of sharks, 12 rays, two skates and one chimaera. The high diversity of sharks was recorded from the Order Carcharhiniformes with 50 species and Orectolobiformes with 10 species. However, low diversity was recorded for the Order Hexanchiformes with three species, and Lamniformes and Squatiniformes with two species respectively. Species diversity in the Order Heterodontiformes was scanty where only one species was recorded. As for botoids, high diversity was recorded for the Order Myliobatiformes with 62 species followed by Torpediniformes with 12 species and Rhinobatiformes with eight species. Only six species were recorded from the Order Rajiformes and three species from Pristiformes. Even though the number of Chondrichthyans species recorded in Malaysia was more than 160, the actual status of its biodiversity is still unknown. With new species continuously discovered, the number is expected to increase in the future. At present, the deep water species are mostly unknown due to limites research activities. Most sharks and rays species landed especially from the families Carcharhinidae and Dasyatidae are very difficult to identify up to species level by untrained and inexperienced enumerators. Only well trained staff will be able to make the right and valid identification of species (Ahmad and Annie Lim, 2012). Recording of landings data were conducted in one district in Perak (Larut Matang) and one district in Sabah (Kota Kinabalu) for at least 12 days per month. The project aimed to enhance human resource development in elasmobranch taxonomy, to increase awareness on conservation, to improve landings data recording from generic ‘sharks’ and ‘rays’ to species level and as s preparation for Malaysia to conduct Non-detriment Findings (NDFs) study for sharks and rays in the near future.
Project Leader : Hamizah Nadia binti Alias @ Yusof (hamizah[at]seafdec.org.my)
Rosdi bin Mohd Nor (rosdi[at]seafdec.org.my)