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

Photos: Berita Lima, Suara Pemred, Tribun Pontianak [1], [2], Liputan 6

A code 2 (fresh dead) baby Bryde’s Whale (Balaenoptera edeni) was found at Kubu Raya West Kalimantan today. The approximate length is 6 m. So far, no news of necropsy has been done, and it seems the baby Whale has been refloated back to sea… First news from Rodney Westerlaken from the Sea Turtle WhatsApp group.

Source: Whale Strandings Indonesia Facebook

The taxonomy of the Bryde’s Whale is still far from settled; what we call the Bryde’s Whale has been split into two subspecies or even distinct species by some authorities: the true Bryde’s Whale, a larger species found in tropical and warm temperate waters worldwide (Balaenoptera brydei), and the Sittang or Eden’s Whale, a smaller form that may be restricted to coastal waters of the Indo-Pacific (Balaenoptera edeni). Both species(?) have been recorded from tropical waters of Southeast Asia.

A 96 cm length, code 4 Finless Porpoise (Neophocaena phocaenoides) was found at Paloh Beach, West Kalimantan today (9 October 2016). News by Dwi Suprapti WWF Indonesia. Paloh and adjacent coasts of West Kalimantan have resident populations of Finless Porpoise; bycatch is their main anthropogenic threat.

Source: Whale Strandings Indonesia Facebook

Photos: Eris Riswandi Facebook

Indonesia: Man hunted for killing Sun Bear
3rd September 2016;

The authorities are hunting a resident of Sambas, West Kalimantan, following a recent post on Facebook showing a picture of a Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus), an endangered species, with its throat cut.

The photo had a caption that read, “Who will buy this animal?”

Previously, on Aug. 12, the same Facebook account also hosted a picture of a man carrying the dead body of a Sun Bear with a caption that read, “It is fortunate to have caught a Sun Bear in the early morning.”

West Kalimantan’s Natural Resources Conservation Agency head Sustyo Iriono said the picture was allegedly taken in Bintulu, Sarawak, Malaysia. However, the man who posted the picture is reportedly from Sei Nilam village, Jawai district, in Sambas regency.

The agency investigating the case found the Facebook account reportedly belonged to a man identified as Joko, using the pseudonym Rosi Kuale.

“The team has visited Joko’s parents’ house in Sambas. His parents had no idea about the Facebook posts,” Sustyo said, adding he had reported the finding to the Environment and Forestry Ministry.

Source: Jakarta Post

Another Finless Porpoise (Neophocaena phocaenoides) (code 4) was also found at Mempawah, West Kalimantan on 29 August 2016. Sample is currently being obtained by BPSPL Pontianak. Photo from Raja Fajar. News from Dwi Suprapti WWF Indonesia.

Source: Whale Strandings Indonesia Facebook

Photos: Tribun Pontianak, BPSPL Pontianak, Pontianak Post, Chai Jie Fung Facebook

Apologies for the slow updates. A code 4 whale of 4 m length was found at Sungai Batang (Kec. Sungai Pinyuh, Kab. Mempawah, West Kalimantan) 3 weeks ago, but we just received the update today from a local newspaper Tribun News Pontianak. It looks like a baleen whale (Mysticeti), but the condition has deteriorated so much now that ID is a bit difficult. Samples are currently being obtained by BPSPL Pontianak. News from Dwi Suprapti, WWF Indonesia.

Source: Whale Strandings Indonesia Facebook