(WHALE SLAUGHTER) PAKISTAN — Yesterday morning a 40-foot long and 7.5 ton whale shark was caught and sold by Karachi fishermen for 170,000 Pakistani rupees. The killing of a nonviolent creature for nothing but financial gain is sickening. The fishermen were only able to sell the whale shark for fish chum at a price far less than what the fishermen expected, proving that this was clearly a waste of this beautiful creature’s life. Whale sharks are not predators, they’re filter feeders. There’s nothing ferocious about this animal besides it’s size.Read more on this unfortunate event. — Global Animal
The 40 foot long and 7.5 ton whale shark is hauled out of Pakistan's Karachi Harbor by crane yesterday. Photo credit: ASIF HASSAN/AFP/Getty Images

The International News

Fishermen killed and transported an 11-meter long whale shark, weighing in at 7.5 tons, to the Karachi Fish Harbour from the open seas. Although they paid Rs50,000 alone to lift and transport the carcass of this endangered sea mammal, they were only able to sell it for Rs170,000 as fish trash.

The crew of the small fishing boat, Al-Hafeez, spotted the sea giant near Ghora Bari in the Arabian sea. Experts believe that the crew fed the animal diesel or fresh water to kill it, and then towed the creature to the harbour in hopes of making a profit by auctioning it.

The dead marine mammal did not, however, prove to be worth the hectic efforts made by the fishermen: they paid Rs50,000 to crane operators to lift the dead animal out of the water, but were only able to make a few thousand each, as the animal was auctioned for Rs170, 000, according to officials at the harbour.

A large number of people had excitedly gathered at the Karachi Fish Harbour upon learning that fishermen had caught a mammoth fish; several children and adults were even seen jumping on the body of the dead whale shark.

Initially, the owner of the boat had hired two small cranes to lift the whale shark. The two cranes were unsuccessful in lifting the 22 ton animal out of the water, which prompted the boat’s owner to arrange for a single heavy-duty crane to get the job done.

Marine experts said the fish was a whale shark, scientific name Rhincodon Typus. It is better known as “Andhi Mangar” among the local fishermen. The experts said that the creature was a blind sea animal; it was not a predator, nor was at all as ferocious as it appeared, and that it probably proved easy prey for the fishermen.

Experts deplored the fact that no law existed at the provincial or federal levels to prevent the killing and sale of such a precious, rare and large fish. They stated that such animals are usually not used for human consumption, and that their killing deprives the Pakistani waters of an extremely rare organism.

Fisheries sources said the whale shark, which was sold as trash at the harbour, would not be used for preparing poultry feed. Former director KFHA and Marine expert Dr Moazzam Khan informed The News that the whale shark is an endangered species. They stressed the need to create awareness about the affects of it being hunted in Pakistani waters.

“It is of no use of humans other than that its oil is used for wooden fishing boats or for making poultry feed. I read an old article that said that Britishers living in Karachi used to hunt wale sharks in late 19th century and early 20th century, and that this practice continued till the creation of Pakistan” he recalled.

Dr Khan pointed out that this type of whale shark was an extremely vulnerable marine creature. He urged to fishermen to avoid hunting it, even though there were no laws in place against doing so.

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