Fishermen trained by the World Wildlife Fund-Pakistan successfully released a whale shark entangled in a net in offshore waters.
A 12-foot long juvenile whale shark was found entangled in a tuna gillnet about 193 kilometres southeast of Karachi, in the offshore waters off Khobar Creek. This was the second such instance in the area, as on September 24 another juvenile whale entangled in a net in the same location, was also released by fishermen.
Trapped whale sharks damage fishing nets and cause substantial losses for fishermen. In order to protect their nets, fishermen resorted to kill these gentle giants, prompting the WWF-Pakistan to initiate a campaign to raise awareness among fishermen and train them to safely release entrapped whale sharks.
Muhammad Moazzam Khan, ex-director general of the Marine Fisheries Department who is presently working as a technical adviser with WWF-Pakistan, informed that the trapped whale shark was saved by fishermen aboard the ‘Al-Gul Muhammad’ fishing vessel. Efforts to safely release the whale shark lasted for around an hour, as the shark was badly entangled in the net. A large part of the fishing net was also damaged but the fishermen strived hard to release the entrapped whale shark and took all precautions to ensure that it was not injured in the process.
From The News International