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

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

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

Source: IRKIM CREW Facebook

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

Source: Encik Rahmat Zainon Facebook

Malaysia: Huge Whale Shark found trapped in fishing net in Malacca
By Muhammad Hatim Ab Manan, 16th November 2016;

Fishermen and villagers from Kampung Muara Sungai Duyong today were taken aback by the sight of a two-and-a-half metre Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus), beached after being caught in a fishing net.

The endangered species, estimated to weigh 1.5 tonnes, became entangled in a fishing net near Pulau Hanyut this morning.

Fisheries Department officials were rushed to the scene and led efforts to guide the Whale Shark back to safe waters near Pulau Udan.

In Malaysia, the Whale Shark is listed as a protected species under the Fisheries Act 1985.

Source: New Straits Times