Whale shark dies after getting trapped in fishing net

Fishermen tow 18-ft long animal to Thengaithittu harbour

Published - January 25, 2020 12:09 am IST - PUDUCHERRY

Veterinarians from  RIVER   conducting a post-mortem  at the Thengaithittu fishing harbour on Friday.

Veterinarians from RIVER conducting a post-mortem at the Thengaithittu fishing harbour on Friday.

An 18-ft-long whale shark that died after getting trapped in a fishing net off the Puducherry coast was brought to the Thengaithittu fishing harbour on Friday.

Forest department officials said a group of fishermen led by R. Baskar of Samiyarpettai coastal hamlet in Cuddalore district had anchored their fishing boat around 12 nautical miles of the Veerampattinam coast on Friday morning when they felt a pull in their nets.

The fishermen on seeing a whale shark (largest non-mammalian vertebrate) in the world tried to cut the fishing nets but the efforts went in vain. The fishermen with the help of other boats towed the giant fish to the Thengaithittu fishing harbour. However, by the time Veterinarians arrived, the animal was already dead.

A team of veterinarians led by Dr. R. Kumar, Professor, Department of Pathology, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Veterinary Education and Research (RIVER) conducted a post-mortem and buried the carcass in the fishing harbour.

A veterinarian said the whale shark, an endangered species and listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 weighed more than two tonnes.

The animal is a filter feeder and it mainly feeds on planktons and small fish.

They are normally found in the Gulf of Mannar and Gujarat coast. The animal had internal bleeding in its stomach and it could have been caused while it tried to free itself from the fishing net, he said.

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