Monday, August 26

Whale shark was likely in Miri waters due to bubuk season

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Fisheries Department and SFC personnel pose for a photo next to the whale shark.

MIRI: The dead whale shark, which became entangled in the nets of a fishing boat on Monday, was likely in Miri waters due to the sergestid shrimp or bubuk season.

Honorary wildlife ranger Musa Musbah said every bubuk season here, there will be various kinds of shark species and dolphins feasting on the bubuk and getting closer to shore.

He said those who catch live protected species such as the whale shark or dolphins must release them, while those found dead must be reported to the Department of Fisheries and Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC).

“The fisherman was doing the right thing by reporting to the authorities on the dead whale shark,” Musa told The Borneo Post when commenting on the giant catch near Kuala Baram.

The fishing boat towed the dead whale shark to a private jetty around 12.30pm and later transported it in a three-ton lorry to the Fisheries Department.

Department and SFC personnel then conduced checks on the whale shark, which was over 15 feet in length.

“It is believed to be one of the biggest catch in Miri waters so far,” said a spokesman from the department yesterday.

The whale shark was later buried at an undisclosed location due to fears its fins might be stolen and sold for shark’s fin soup.

Whale sharks are found in tropical waters and live for around 70 years. They feed mainly on plankton, microscopic plants, and sometimes small fish.

Known as gentle giants of the sea, they do not pose a danger to humans.