The walking shark that was discovered in Indonesia walks along the bottom of the ocean floor to look for small fish and crustaceans. The discovery of the walking shark was announced on Friday by scientists from Conservation International. "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 Indonesian Institute of Sciences, according to The Guardian on Aug. 30, 2013.
The walking shark named Hemiscyllium Halmahera was discovered off the remote eastern island of Halmahera, one of the Maluku islands. It has wide horizontal stripes, grows to a maximum length of 30 inches (about 76 cm), and is harmless to humans.
While “walking” along the bottom of the ocean floor, the walking shark uses its fins to move along the seabed in search for small fish and crustaceans.
The new discovery of a walking shark means that there are now six of the nine known walking shark species in Indonesian waters and because of their unique walking style, they have become favorites among divers.
Indonesia used to regard walking sharks or any other shark not as a marine life tourist attraction but as a leading source for dried shark fin and other shark products.
Over the last six months, Indonesia has dedicated new marine preserves to sharks and rays. Indonesian scientists who are working with the marine conservation group Conservation International are hoping that the discovery of the new walking shark will help to turn marine life exploitation into exploration.