A big whale shark was illegally caught by a fishing trawler and dropped at Sassoon Dock in Colaba, south Mumbai, lifeless on Wednesday morning.
Whale sharks are a protected species underneath Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Safety Act (WPA), 1972, and likewise listed as an endangered species by the Worldwide Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Maharashtra fisheries division authorities mentioned they had been within the means of submitting a primary info report (FIR) in opposition to unidentified individuals for the offence in a bid to provoke a probe within the matter.
“Our licencing officers have reached the spot. It seems that the fishermen, who had caught the protected species, left it on the dock and fled. Offenders can be booked and an investigation is underway,” mentioned Atul Patne, commissioner, state fisheries division.
Suresh Warak, vary forest officer (mangrove cell), mentioned the shark’s carcass had begun decomposing.
“We’re measuring its size, nevertheless it’s roughly 25 ft lengthy. We’re additionally within the means of reserving the offenders,” he mentioned.
The seize comes eight days after the Maharashtra fisheries division had initiated an investigation and known as for motion concerning unauthorised fishing practices which are affecting uncommon and endangered marine species alongside the state’s shoreline.
The probe was ordered based mostly on a report by marine biologists from the Mangrove Basis, underneath the mangrove cell of the state forest division, which had documented unsustainable fishing practices, extreme juvenile bycatch and unlawful shark fin commerce.
Such rampant fishing practices are resulting in a fast decline of threatened, susceptible, and critically endangered sharks and allied species, the report had identified.
Moreover whale sharks tiger sharks, white sharks, and speartooth sharks; different elasmobranch species similar to hammerhead sharks, pointed sawfish, largetooth sawfish, longcomb sawfish, and guitarfish are additionally protected underneath the WPA, 1972.