Chinese police net fisherman caught with huge endangered whale shark
Man arrested after trying to sell protected fish to hotel restaurant
A fisherman in eastern China has been arrested for allegedly trying to sell endangered wildlife after footage surfaced online of a massive dead whale shark being hacked to pieces in a hotel car park.
Residents in Ningde, Fujian province, tipped off police about the shark on Monday when it was spotted on the back of a truck in the township of Sansha, state-run Chinanews.com reported on Thursday.
The fishermen tried to sell the shark, which was several metres long, to the hotel’s restaurant but staff rejected the catch, saying it was “too smelly” and poisonous, the report said.
Gruesome footage of a man hacking the dead animal into smaller chunks in the car park was uploaded to Pear Video on Tuesday, before circulating widely on Sina Weibo.
Fujian’s environmental protection authorities confirmed the incident after sending a team to Sansha to investigate.
Whale sharks are an endangered species protected by Chinese and international law.
As the world’s largest living fish, they can grow to more than 12 metres in length and weigh over 10 tonnes.
Thousands of online commenters and animal welfare supporters condemned the killing.
“I hope there will be more severe punishments for people who kill these animals and the buyers of these products,” one commenter said.