STAFF REPORT KHI: Fishermen along the Karachi coast have the released three whale sharks they captured in the offshore waters of Pakistan.

“These fishermen were trained by the WWF-Pakistan for the release of the shark wales,” said World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) Pakistans Communications Officer, Asif Ali Sandeelo while confirming the news.

An 18-ft large whale shark had got entangled in the tuna gillnets about 73 km southeast of Karachi in the sea waters. In addition, two whale sharks having a size of 10 and 14 feet respectively were entangled and released by the fishermen in sea water near Pasni.

WWF-Pakistan has started an observer programme in 2012 on tuna gillnet vessel and conducted training of fishermen on saving entangled non-target animals.

“Although whale sharks are not protected in the country but now the fishing community considers them an important marine animal which may not be killed for mere extraction of liver oil,” said Rab Nawaz, Director, WWF-Pakistan.

Muhammad Moazzam. Khan, Technical Advisor (Marine Fisheries), pointed out that historically there used to be an important whale shark fishery in Pakistan but since 1970s aimed fishery for whale shark using harpoons was stopped.

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