Northern River Shark
- Commercial and recreational fishing
- Habitat degradation
The Northern River Shark or New Guinea River Shark, considered as one of the world’s rarest shark species, was only discovered in 1986. It lives in the tidal and highly turbid estuaries and seas of Australia and Papua New Guinea. This piscivorous species that belong to the whaler or requiem shark family feeds on other fish and sharks as well as various marine creatures within its territory.
Northern River Sharks are characterised as viviparous, with its breeding cycle before the wet season every year. Each female can bear up to 9 potential pup sharks. It grows up to 8 feet or about 2.5 metres in length.
The IUCN has categorized Northern River Sharks as a critically endangered species due to legal and illegal fishing. They either drown from entanglement or die from fatal injuries sustained from being trapped in long lines and gillnets.
Dams and water programs as well as mining activities also pollute the water. Construction of a tidal barrage for power generation will also disrupt the natural ecosystem of the Northern River Sharks.