Monday, March 22, 2010

Bid to save whale shark fails

An attempt by the crew of a deep sea trawler to save a whale shark found floating off the coast here proved futile after it died while being towed to a fish landing jetty in Tok Bali yesterday.
The whale shark, known by its scientific name Rhincodon typus, weighing about two tonnes and 10m long, was spotted by the crew about 38.9km off Tok Bali about 6am.The fishermen, led by skipper Ek Suwan Chai Pong, 46, who is a Thai national, were sailing back to the jetty when they spotted the shark."We spotted the shark as it rose to the surface of the waters as if waving at us. We steered our vessel closer to the whale and some of our crewmen climbed overboard to check on it but the shark was already very weak."He said the crew members decided to pull it back to the jetty with the trawler in the hope of saving it."But when we arrived at the jetty, the shark was already dead as we saw no movement at all. The four hours we took to reach the jetty must have tired it."

Meanwhile, state fisheries officer Mohd Azhar Jusoh said the department would take the shark onshore with a crane for investigation.

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