With environmental risks like pollution and overfishing, it’s little secret there are many fish species on the endangered list. Such is the case with the whale shark, known to be a docile creature that allow divers to hitch a ride on its fins. It’s been reported that a dead whale shark has been spotted hanging from a winch off the Chinese coast. The culprits were two fishermen called Liao and Huang and they have been arrested by the authorities for selling the animal on the fish market.
Whale sharks are considered vulnerable by the IUCN because of their long life span. Many countries have taken measures to protect them, such as the Philippines where it’s illegal to fish, sell, import and export whale sharks for commercial purposes.
Trouble persists as whale sharks can fetch a price of $30000 on the black market. The fact these majestic creatures are being hunted is an issue that needs to be resolved. Despite the Chinese government pushing to protect them and a petition from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to list the shark as endangered, they are still being slaughtered in numbers. According to a National Geographic article a single factory in the Chinese city of Puqi is responsible for killing at least 600 whale and basking sharks a year.
The dead whale shark appeared on social media and that’s where the power of change comes from. As long as people band together and show the atrocities occurring in the animal world then there’s hope. The issue won’t be ignored if pictures are shared, tweets are sent out and people discuss the problem in the open. Whale sharks deserve better, otherwise we’re going to lose one of the largest animals on the planet in a matter of decades.