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LUMUT, Jan 24 — The carcass of a 1.5-tonne whale shark, of the Rhincodon Typus species, was found floating in the waters off Pulau Pangkor here on Friday.
Rantau Abang Fisheries Research Institute (FRI) Marine Mammal Branch chief Mohd Tamimi Ali Ahmad said the 5.7-metre long male whale shark, which is believed to be five years’ old, was found floating by fishermen at about 3pm.
Upon receiving information on the matter, a joint operation was conducted by the branch, the Kampung Acheh FRI as well as the My Teluk Senangin My Fisheries Community and they then found the carcass near the Damar Laut Jetty near here at 6.30pm yesterday.
“The carcass was found in a mangrove area, which made it difficult for us to look for it. The shark, which is believed to have died four days ago, was towed to the Kampung Acheh Fisheries Jetty for post-mortem,” he told reporters at the jetty, here, today.
He said the post-mortem revealed that its right pectoral fin had been cut while garbage, including branches and plastics, were found in its stomach, which also contained an excessive amount of water — 37.9 litres.
“We are still investigating the cause of death of the whale shark, which is often found in Pulau Sembilan, Bagan Datuk as the area is rich with anchovies and prawns,” he said, adding that irresponsible parties would kill the sharks their fins as a bowl of shark fin soup could cost anything from RM100 to RM1,000.
He advised fishermen and the public not to disturb the whale sharks, which are an endangered marine species protected under the Fisheries Act 1985. — Bernama