Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Chinese fisherman nets massive whale shark but, as always, there’s a catch

The question is not so much where or why a Chinese fisherman caught this massive whale shark… it is how he managed to strap it onto his tiny truck.

Chinese fisherman nets whale shark... but there's a catchThe picture, taken in Xianghzhi in China’s eastern Fujian province, shows local fisherman Cai Chengzhu making his way to market with his giant catch.

His truck, not usually used to carrying such a load, miraculously made it to the fish market in Shishi – but that’s where Mr Cai’s real problems started.

Whale sharks are a protected species in China, and it is an offence to buy or sell them.

So it looked more than a little fishy to officials from the Fujian fisheries department when Mr Cai turned up with the conspicuous 17ft, two-tonne fish strapped to his truck.

At first the professional fisherman claimed he did not know the giant catch was a whale shark, and when that raised a few eyebrows he added that the shark muscled its way into his fishing net to eat fish that were already caught, got caught itself, and unfortunately died.

Because it was accidentally caught and was already dead – despite Mr Cai’s undoubtedly valiant efforts to save it – he hoped fisheries officials might allow him to sell it.

If so, he had already come up with a price of between 10,000 and 20,000 yuan (£960 and £1,920).

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