Dwarf or Mangrove Whipray (Himantura walga)
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, 17th March 2016

This photo of a Stingray on a railing was shared by Noeleen Tan.

This is possibly the Dwarf or Mangrove Whipray, a species that is commonly found in inshore waters, as well as mangroves and river estuaries, although there are other species of Stingray found in the region that might look superficially similar.

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Photos: Erwin Dumaguit Facebook

Philippines: Man-sized Guitarfish in Leyte dies after its fin was cut off
By TJ Dimacali, 13th March 2017;

A 10-foot-long (3-meter-long) Guitarfish (Rhinobatos Rhynchobatus) sp., known locally as “arado”) washed ashore in Dulag, Leyte, last weekend and may have been a victim of poaching.

According to a report on GMA News TV’s Unang Balita, the fish’s dorsal fin had been torn off, eventually leading to its death despite residents’ best efforts to return it to the sea.

The IUCN lists several species of Guitarfish as endangered due to overfishing for their prized dorsal fins, which are sought-after to make soup and medicine.

It was not clear as of press time whether the Guitarfish in Leyte was a victim of poaching or if it somehow lost its fin in an accident.

Closely related to Rays and Sharks, Guitarfish are bottom feeders that prey mostly on clams, worms, and other small animals on the sea floor.

Source: GMA News Online

The common name “Guitarfish” often refers to species from the family Rhinobatidae (Rhinobatus sp.) and Glaucostegidae (Glaucostegus sp.). The members of the family Rhinidae (or Rhynchobatidae) are typically known as Wedgefishes (Rhynchobatus sp.). Several species of Wedgefishes are known from the tropical Indo-Pacific; based on the external morphology seen in the photos, this is likely to be a White-spotted Wedgefish (Rhynchobatus australiae).

A giant Shovelnose Ray (Rhynchobatus sp.) was found dead along the shores of Brgy. San Miguel, Dulag, Leyte last 9 March.

Source: Rochie Montano Adolfo Facebook, via Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines Facebook

This is a Wedgefish (Rhynchobatus sp.); several species are known from the Indo-Pacific. Based on the external morphology, this is likely to be a White-spotted Wedgefish (Rhynchobatus australiae). The missing dorsal fins might be an indication that it had been finned.

  1. Rare species: Residents crowd around a Whale Shark caught in a trawl in Selakau waters, Sambas regency, West Kalimantan, on Friday.
  2. Playground: Children sit on the back of a Whale Shark caught in a trawl in Selakau waters, Sambas regency, West Kalimantan, on Friday.

Indonesia: Whale shark dead after being caught up in trawl
By Severianus Endi, 26th February 2017;

A 6-meter Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus) weighing more than 1 ton got caught in the trawl of a fisherman in Selakau waters, Sambas regency, West Kalimantan, on Friday. Residents later cut the protected animal up and distributed the pieces.

Officers from Selakau Police and the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) questioned the fisherman, identified as Gustian, over the incident. He said the animal had accidentally become caught up in a trawl he had put out in waters around 20 kilometers off the shore. When he had discovered the shark in the net, Gustian claimed, it had already been dead.

Gustian, who had been out fishing with his son that day, said they had been unable to release the Whale Shark from the trawl, so he decided to pull it to the pier.

Gustian said he was not aware that Whale Sharks were a protected species. He said he did not know who had ordered the local residents to cut the Shark into pieces and take them home.

Pictures of the Whale Shark went viral on social media, showing local residents, including children, crowded around the carcass of the animal on Selakau Beach.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Indonesia’s West Kalimantan program manager, Albert Tjiu, told The Jakarta Post on Sunday there had been no clear information on whether Selakau waters were the habitat of Whale Sharks. However, he said, a WWF researcher conducting a survey in the area had heard of a similar incident last year.

Source: Jakarta Post

A dead Thresher Shark was accidentally caught by a fisherman in Barangay Bakhawan at around 2:00 a.m., January 8, 2017.

It was brought to the police station and then handed over to the MENRO.

Source: Municipal Environment and Natural Resources – LGU-Daanbantayan Facebook

A Bigeye Thresher Shark (Alopias superciliosus) was accidentally caught by a fisherman in Barangay Bakhawan in Daanbantayan, Cebu yesterday.

Source: Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines Facebook

Photos of what appears to be a Great Hammerhead (Sphyrna mokarran), found washed up on Kenangan beach in Bongawan, Sabah.

Sources: Pantai Kenangan Bongawan Facebook and Pantai Kenangan Bongawan ( W. Pait Liur) Facebook

Photos: Pantai Kenangan Bongawan Facebook

Malaysia: Hammerhead Shark carcass gains instant fame in Sabah, and online
By Avila Geraldine, 14th January 2017;

A Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrna sp.) carcass washed up on Kenangan beach in Bongawan, about 70km from Kota Kinabalu, and caused a sensation among locals and netizens.

Photos of the shark went viral on Facebook, shortly after villagers made the discovery at about 6.30am today.

As news of the discovery spread, curious villagers flocked to the site to take photos of the unique-looking marine predator.

The Hammerhead Shark has been listed in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of globally-endangered species.

Awang Harun Karim, 50, from Kampung Silat, was the first to spot the Shark as he was preparing to open his grocery store for business. His shop is just about 50 metres away from the beach.

“I thought it was a log, but I took a closer look and discovered that it was actually a Hammerhead Shark. I immediately called my son and we rushed to the beach, but it was already dead when we found it,” he said.

The Shark was estimated to be 1.8-metres long and weigh about 60 kilogrammes.

“This was the first time I had seen a Hammerhead Shark on the beach. Two years ago, a Dolphin was stranded here and was rescued by the relevant authority,” Awang added.

Source: New Straits Times

Based on the shape of the head and the size of the dorsal fin in proportion to the rest of the body, this is likely a Great Hammerhead (Sphyrna mokarran). It’s not mentioned whether the shark carcass was found with a rope already tied behind the head. Could it have been caught by a person previously, and then discarded?

Malaysia: Whale Shark freed after 12-hour ordeal
By R.S.N. Murali, 17th November 2016;

A Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus) survived a 12-hour ordeal after being trapped in a fishing net and lying on the beach before finally being freed at Sungai Duyong jetty here.

The fish, weighing 1.5 tonnes, was dragged to the jetty before fishermen with the aid of State Fisheries Department released it to the sea.

Fisherman Mahat Ibrahim, 55, said the whale shark was entangled in his net while he was fishing about seven nautical miles off the coast here.

“My brother and I suspected something amiss when our boat struggled to drag in the catch and we found the Whale Shark in the net,” he said here yesterday.

He said the Whale Shark was dragged to shore near the jetty at 2.30am before it was released at about 1pm.

“I suffered a loss of RM7,000 as my fishing net was badly damaged after trapping such a heavy fish,” he said.

Many residents gathered to take pictures when news of the giant fish spread on social media.

State Agriculture, Entrepreneur Development committee chairman Datuk Hasan Abdul Rahman said the Whale Shark, scientifically known as Rhincodon typus, was released off Pulau Undan near here.

He said the fishermen tried to release the Whale Shark once they reached shore but couldn’t due to its tremendous size and weight, and decided to wait for the Fisheries Department to help.

He said the Whale Shark is a protected species under the Fisheries Act 1985 and listed as endangered under the Convention on Interna­tional Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Source: The Star

A group of fishermen stand near the mouth of the Duyong River, Malacca on Nov 16, 2016 after releasing a 5m-long one-tonne Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus) which was found trapped in a drift net near Pulau Hanyut earlier in the morning.
Sources: Bernama, The Rakyat Post

Malaysia: One-tonne Whale Shark found trapped in fishing net
16th November 2016;

A Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus) weighing about one tonne was found trapped in a drift net belonging to a fisherman known as Mahat, 51, near the mouth of the Duyong River here today.

State Fisheries Department director Mohd Ghazali A. Manap said the 20-feet-long endangered species was dragged ashore about 11am.

“The fisherman then brought back the fish to the river mouth as it was hard to release it in the rough sea before reporting the find to the Fisheries Department.

"The Whale (Shark) can be found in our waters and maybe it got caught in the net while looking for shrimps, which are plentiful in the area,” he said when contacted by Bernama here.

He said an officer, who was rushed to the scene, found that the mammal fish (Whale Sharks aren’t mammals!) suffered minor tail injuries and was barely alive.

Mohd Ghazali said the Whale Shark, which is listed as protected species under the Fisheries Act 1985, was then released near Pulau Undan, about one nautical mile from the mouth of the river at 12.15pm with the help of policemen and fishermen.

He said the action of the fisherman was commendable as it could help save endangered wildlife like the Whale Shark.

“We hope that other fishermen will take similar action by reporting to the Fisheries Department if they catch any endangered species,” he said.

Source: The Sun Daily

Other news sources state that the Whale Shark measured about 2.5 metres in length and weighed about 1.5 tonnes. Oddly enough, this other source makes it longer (20 feet = roughly 6.1 metres) yet lighter (1 tonne).

Photos of the Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus) that had been entangled in a fishing net near Pulau Hanyut in Malacca, Peninsular Malaysia.

Sources: Rilek Brader Facebook, Safrina Yusof Facebook, Rusnah Ali Facebook, and PenMerah [dot] com Facebook