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Indonesia: Two Whale Sharks stranded on Nusa Penida coast
4th July 2016;
Two Whale Sharks (Rhincodon typus) were found stranded on the shore of Nusa Penida Island, which is administratively a part of Bali, despite being completely separate from the island of God.
“The Whale Sharks were stranded due to severe injuries inflicted by the propeller blades of a boat that crossed their path,” Yudi Permana from the Coast and Sea Resources Management Hall stated in Denpasar on Monday.
Based on initial analysis, the wounds on the bodies of the Sharks are rather large, raising the suspicion of them being possibly hit by a propeller blade.
A verification team had visited the scene and had held a meeting with local public figures, authorities, and tourism stakeholders in Nusa Penida.
The meeting involved representatives from the Lembongan Marine Association, dive operators, the Technical Executive Unit of the Nusa Penida Water Reservoir, as well as the Coral Triangle Center.
The meeting was held to uncover the chronology of the incident and to establish preventive measures to avoid similar incidents from recurring in future.
Both Whale Sharks suffered wounds on their head, pectoral fin, and tail.
“The wounds indicate that they were struck by the propeller blades of a boat,” remarked Yudi.
Hence, Yudi believes that special legal and regulatory measures should be implemented in Nusa Penida as the areas tourism sector had grown at a rapid pace.
Moreover, divers and dive operators are required to abide by the diving ethics, including those related to interaction with sea creatures.