Whale sharks are the largest known fish species and are able to grow up to 30 feet, weigh over 20 tons while living up to 100 years.
However, their numbers in the wild are dwindling and they are protected in China.
Black market anglers who attempt to catch and sell the massive fish are hit with very hefty fines.
However, one fisherman, named Cai Chengzhu, recently drove a whale shark he had caught to the local fish market.
He was given permission to sell it.
World’s largest fish sold at market after dying in fisherman’s net.
The whale shark in question had broken into the fisherman’s net to eat the smaller fish that had been caught. Unfortunately, the whale shark became trapped in the net and died before it could be rescued. The fisherman did not want the fish to go to waste since it had already died and proceeded to load the 16 foot long fish onto his truck and drive it to market.
Villagers in the region were in shock as they watched Chengzhu drive down the road with a huge, two ton fish on his rickety old truck.
Once he reached the market, Chengzhu met with officials at the fish market who made the decision that the fish could be sold since it was already dead. However, that seems like a very dangerous precedent to set. There is no reason that other fisherman with less honorable intentions could illegally catch whale sharks and say that they were already dead when they were caught.
“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,” said the fisherman.
Chengzhu will sell the fish for approximately 10,000 Chinese Yuan or about $1600 U.S. dollars.
“It was really unfortunate and we did our best to free it, but having caught it and because it was already dead, it seemed a shame to waste it,” Chengzhu said.
Do you think the decision to allow the whale shark to be sold was the best move? Get the discussion started in the comments section below.