Two whale sharks hauled ashore in E China

Updated: 2013-09-12 21:05

By Zhao Ruixue (chinadaily.com.cn)

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Experts confirmed that two large fish hauled ashore this week in Rizhao, East China's Shandong province, were whale sharks, according to Qilu Evening News.

Liu Jing, an expert at the Institute of Oceanology under Chinese Academy of Sciences, made the confirmation after observing pictures of the sharks posted online.

A 2,500-kg shark was brought ashore in Rizhao on Wednesday, the second large fish caught by fishermen at the Lanshan district in Rizhao this week, according to Dazhong Daily.

The first shark, which was 10 meters long and weighed 10,000 kg, was caught on Sunday.

Both of the sharks were dead when they were found by fishermen.

The captain, who only gave his surname as Qin, said he found the fish floating on the sea at 3 am on Wednesday. He and a group of sailors spent four hours hauling the fish to the East Panjia wharf at the Lanshan district.

Both of the sharks have already been sold.

The first fish was sold for 20 yuan ($3.27) a kilogram.

Qin refused to reveal the price and the buyer of the second fish.

Whale sharks swim through the sea around Rizhao in September and October when they travel north, according to Liu.

Sometimes whale sharks die after they become stranded onshore, while others have been hit by boats.

Whale sharks are listed as a vulnerable species in most countries, Liu said.

Fishermen who catch whale sharks are required to contact local fishery authorities, according to an official at the Rizhao ocean and fishery bureau.

The official said they will investigate the sale of the two sharks.

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