Whale Shark freed after 12-hour ordeal

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 17 Nov 2016

MALACCA: A whale shark survived a 12-hour ordeal after being trapped in a fishing net and lying on the beach before finally being freed at Sungai Duyong jetty here.

The fish, weighing 1.5 tonnes, was dragged to the jetty before fishermen with the aid of State Fisheries Department released it to the sea.

Fisherman Mahat Ibrahim, 55, said the whale shark was entangled in his net while he was fishing about seven nautical miles off the coast here.

“My brother and I suspected something amiss when our boat struggled to drag in the catch and we found the whale shark in the net,” he said here yesterday.

He said the whale shark was dragged to shore near the jetty at 2.30am before it was released at about 1pm.

“I suffered a loss of RM7,000 as my fishing net was badly damaged after trapping such a heavy fish,” he said.

Many residents gathered to take pictures when news of the giant fish spread on social media.

State Agriculture, Entrepreneur Development committee chairman Datuk Hasan Abdul Rahman said the whale shark, scientifically known as Rhincodon Typus, was released off Pulau Undan near here.

He said the fishermen tried to release the whale shark once they reached shore but couldn’t due to its tremendous size and weight, and decided to wait for the Fisheries Department to help.

He said the whale shark is a protected species under the Fisheries Act 1985 and listed as endangered under the Convention on Interna­tional Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites).

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