Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks schooling © Jeff Rotman / WWF-Pakistan


Sharks are considered to be apex predators in the marine food chain‚ and are considered to be of immense importance because of their role in the ecological balance of coastal and offshore ecosystems.

Sharks inclusive of sawfishes‚ rays and skates belongs to subclass elasmobranches which are characterized to have cartilage (lack true bones) as skeletal block‚ slow reproduction‚ predatory nature and have gill slits instead of gill cover.

Key Facts

  • Common Name


  • English Name,Scientific Name

    Pelagic Thresher (Alopias pelagicus )

    Great Hammerhead (Sphyrna mokarran)

    Scalloped Hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini)

    Blue Shark (Prionace glauca)

    Short Fin Mako (Isurus oxyrinchus)

    Blacktip Shark (Carcharinus malonopterus)

    Bull Shark (Carcharunis leucas)

    Tiger Shark (Galeocerdo cuvier)

    Whale Shark (Rhincodon typhus)

    Manta Ray (Manta birostris)

  • Length

    1 – 10 m

  • Weight

    10 – 500 lbs

  • Habitat

    Pelagic and demersal waters


Sharks (inclusive of rays and guitar fishes) are represented by 134 species in Pakistan including large sharks such as mako‚ tiger shark‚ bull-shark and large mantas.


Shark meat is sold at high prices in the market © Rob Webster / WWF. rel=
Shark meat is sold at high prices in the market © Rob Webster / WWF
© Rob Webster / WWF

The biggest threat to sharks is its over exploitation in the gillnet fisheries. There is a high amount of by-catch of sharks in the gillnet fleets and in trawling.

What is WWF-Pakistan doing?

Shark © National Geographic Stock / Paul Sutherland / WWF . rel=
Shark © National Geographic Stock / Paul Sutherland / WWF
© National Geographic Stock / Paul Sutherland / WWF
WWF-Pakistan has initiated projects related to the assessment of shark fisheries, focusing on monitoring and assessment of shark catch‚ landing and trade; funded by the Scientific Committee (2008 to 2010).


What you can do to help?

Create awareness, train the government and other staff working on cetaceans, engage media and motivate students to conduct research on these species.

Relevant Projects

Research based projects are on-going to investigate the trophic level changes in the ecosystem with the removal of sharks (apex predators)