Species: Puffadder Shy Shark (Haploblepharus edwardsii)
Total Length: 48cm
Unique Markings: Geralds spot pattern on his dorsal (top) surface is individual and allows us to reidentify him
Location: Dolicers Reef, Mossel bay, South Africa
The puffadder shyshark (Haploblepharus edwardsii) is a species of catshark, belonging to the family Scyliorhinidae. Puffadders are endemic to the waters off the coast of South Africa. This shark is found on or near the bottom in sandy or rocky habitats, from the intertidal zone to a depth of 130 m (430 ft). Typically reaching 60 cm (24 in) in length, the puffadder shyshark has a slender, flattened body and head. It is strikingly patterned with a series of dark-edged, bright orange saddles” and numerous small white spots over its back. In recent years, the Shark Research Unit’s scientists have described the puff adder as one of the few shark species to ‘glow in the dark’ with their ability to produce green – yellow biofluorescence.
The adoption fee for Gerald has been directed to the shark conservation programs conducted by the Shark Research Unit. Specifically we will be using the funds to drive our contribution to motivating local Mossel Bay restaurants to sign up and join the sustainable seafoods initiative (SASSI). This initiative is developed and managed by WWF and designed to aid both consumers and sellers to only trade in sustainably sourced fish species. Sharks form a bicatch in many South African fisheries, but those fisheries determined as sustainable by SASSI have measures in place to limit and reduce bycatch of sharks and other non-target species.