It’s not an everyday occurrence, not even for the world’s most experienced fishermen, to come across a 40-foot whale shark. For that matter, it’s even less likely to find a 40-foot dead whale shark, but it happened in Pakistan. Fisherman struggled to retrieve the beast from the water for several hours and in the end sold it for $18,750.
A Pakistani newspaper, the Express Tribune, reports that fisherman from the Charai Fishery managed to pull out of the water a 40 to 50 feet long and six feet wide whale shark. According to the fishery’s owner, Mehmood Khan, the whale shark was spotted unconscious ten days ago in waters about 93 miles away from the fishery.
Although the local fishermen claim they found the whale shark already dead, some wildlife experts believe that the shark might have died after getting entangled in a net. The species has been having a hard time, lately, surviving the harpoon fisheries of Southeast Asia and habitat damage. Pollution and overfishing have crippled the numbers of this species, determining the International Union for Conversation of Nature and Natural Resources to declare in 2005 that the global whale shark population was at risk.
The National Geographic website states that the whale shark is the largest fish in the sea. The biggest whale shark spotted so far was 41 feet. The one pulled out of the water in the Arabian port was weighted at 7,000 kilo and bought by Haji Qasim for Rs200,000 or $18,750.
“I have bought the fish, which usually has no significant commercial value, with the help of my friends just to appreciate the efforts of the fishermen who deserve some reward”, stated Haji Qasim, the new owner of the 7,000 kilo whale shark carcass.
The fishermen struggled for a couple of hours to pull the whale shark from the water. Eventually, under dozens of curious looks and with the help of two cranes, the whale shark was finally taken out of the channel.
Haji Qasim added that the authorities allowed him to keep the fish in the harbor for the next following days until he will “sell the meat to the people running poultry meal business”.