Residents gather as a whale shark is pulled from the water by cranes after it was found dead at Karachi's fish harbor
Residents gather as a whale shark is pulled from the water by cranes after it was found dead at Karachi's fish harbor February 7, 2012.

Fishermen in Pakistan have found the carcass of a gigantic 36-foot whale shark, on Tuesday morning, which was then reportedly sold for Rs. 200,000 (approx. £1,340), according to a report in The Dawn.

The shark was actually found dead by the fisherman, in the shallow waters of the Gadani coast, in Balochistan. The shark weighed approximately seven tonnes and it took two cranes to pull the animal out of the water!

According to the ICUN Red List, the whale shark has been listed as a "Vulnerable" species. Their population has been steadily declining over the past few decades, largely because they tend to get caught in fishing lines and tackle; they are also threatened by excessive fishing.

Apparently, over the last seven years, more than 30 whale sharks have been killed in Pakistani water, according to a WWF marine biologist quoted in The Tribune. These have either been reported dead or caught by fishermen.

In 2010, a whale shark was found entangled in fishing lines, off the coast of Hawkesbay Beach in Karachi.

"... the fishing of this species is banned under the CITES to which Pakistan is also a signatory and state permission is necessary to carry out such an activity," said Mohammad Moazzam Khan, a former director of the Marine Fisheries Department currently working as a consultant with Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), to the Dawn.

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