Kind Fisherman Throws Back Endangered Shark After Making Big Catch on Fishing Trip With Friends

An endangered shark will swim another day because of a conscientious fisherman.

A 20-year-old university student named Alperen Uslu was fishing in the Mediterranean Sea off of southern Turkey with friends when he encountered what was thought to be a fish that seemed to be extra difficult and required help to reel in.

Uslu actually caught a sandbar shark. The sandbar shark, also known as the brown shark or the thickskin shark, can be found in nearly all parts of the world’s ocean in subtropical waters. They are the most abundant shark species in the western Atlantic and are also seen in the Indo-Pacific region, including near the Hawaiian Islands. 

Like most other sharks, overfishing and shark finning are threats to their population health, according to the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. “Decreased prey availability, especially as habitat is lost or their prey move due to a changing climate, also threatens their population,” the foundation writes on its website

The fins of sandbar sharks are considered highly valuable, but Uslu released his catch back into the wild, which advocates would likely praise, considering the species is considered “threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

“They give very few offspring and eggs. It is normal for the sandbar shark to be seen so much on the shore; it is a harmless species for humans,” Professor Mehmet Gokoglu of Akdeniz University said. 

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