Odisha Releases 15-Feet Whale Shark Into Deep Sea
As per reports, a 15-feet long whale shark has been released into the Bay of Bengal after it was caught in the fishing net near Pati Sonepur at Ganjam district in Odisha. The local fishermen along with villagers and officials from the forest department released it into the deep sea on Thursday.
“It came into the net line during fishing in the sea near Pati Sonepur at Ganjam district in south Odisha,” an official confirmed.
Officials from the forest department said that since the 1500 kg fish was alive, it was released into the deep sea with the help of local fishermen and villagers.
Whale sharks are known to be the largest living non-mammalian vertebrates. They are slow-moving fishes that swim close to the water surface and feed on plankton. They are known to appear near the Odisha coastline every year between February and May.
“We have deployed forest personnel on the beach during the night to watch for any development,” said Berhampur forest range officer D K Martha.
“If the whale shark dies it will wash ashore due to the tidal wave of the sea,” he added.
Whale sharks are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act and are tagged as an endangered species in the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Sources from the forest department said that at least four whale sharks had died on the Odisha coast last year, including three in the Ganjam coast at Gopalpur, Pati Sonepur and Kantiagada.