rare shark
A rare shark, after a decade-long disappearance, was seen on sale at a fish market in India. A Frill shark is pictured swimming in a tank after being found by a fisherman on Jan.21, 2007 in Numazu, Japan. Awashima Marine Park/Getty Images

A rare shark species that went missing for a decade was spotted on sale at a local fish in Mumbai, India, which shocked scientists who were studying the animal.

The Ganges river shark (Glyphis gangeticus) is on the endangered species list and has not appeared in over a decade. But that changed as the animal surfaced in recently released photos which show a female specimen measuring 8-feet and 7-inches long on sale at an Indian fish market, New Scientist reported.

The pictures were taken in February 2016 as part of a study published in the Journal of Fish Biology. From the images, experts identified the shark based on her round snout, small eyes, and fin characteristics, which are exclusive to its species.

Funded by a Save Our Seas Foundation grant, scientists recorded and measured sharks that were caught and sold at the Sassoon Docks in Mumbai. However, it became challenging to take tissue samples from the fish because of how quickly traders and fisherman had processed the animal.

Rima Jabado, founder and lead scientist of the Gulf Elasmo Project, a shark research and conservation group based in the United Arab Emirates, told New Scientist how surprised she was that the shark had reemerged.

"It's a species that's never really been seen in the western Indian Ocean," she said.

Researchers were unsure of where exactly the shark was caught. However, they suggested that it could have been picked up near the north-east coast of the Arabian Sea near Mumbai where the species dwell.

Meanwhile, the fish, described by shark's conservation as "highly threatened, rare and elusive," has been hard to track both locally and worldwide due to its rarity. The sea creature is currently listed as "critically endangered."

"There are so few specimens of river sharks from around the world that pretty much all the information we have is based on either preserved specimens from the last century, or from jaws that were found at some point in remote villages and were identified as river sharks," Jabado added.

The Ganges shark is listed as the number one most endangered shark in the world, partly because poachers hunt the fish for its fin and jaws, according to Fox News. Native to the Ganges river in India, the Ganges shark is true river shark, which means it does not need salt water to survive.