A fisherman in China was spotted on August 1 transporting a huge 16-foot-long whale shark to a market, despite the fact that whale sharks are protected in China and it was taken illegally. Cai Chengzhu, 48, claimed that the whale shark accidently got caught in his fishing net, so he loaded it up on his truck and drove the beast 10 miles to Shishi where he planned to sell it. He claimed he didn’t know it was a whale shark and that it died on the way to the market while aboard his truck.
“I asked the fish market officials that monitor this sort of thing, and they said that as it was already dead when we caught it and as it was there we may as well sell it.” Regulations in the country state if a whale shark is caught, they must immediately be set free. There is no word on whether or not Chengzhu will face any charges for killing the massive animal. The whale shark is a slow-moving filter feeding shark and the largest known fish species in existence. The largest confirmed individual had a length of 41.50 feet and a weight of more than 47,000 lb, and unconfirmed reports of considerably larger whale sharks exist.
The whale shark holds many records for sheer size in the animal kingdom, rivalling many of the largest dinosaurs in weight. The species originated about 60 million years ago.
The whale shark is found in tropical and warm oceans and lives in the open sea, with a lifespan of about 70 years.
What you can do about it
Demand China stop killing whale sharks for lipstick! (Online Petition)
Stop Killing Whales and Sharks (Online Petition)