LAST_UPDATESat, 23 Jun 2018 10am

Fisherman Hauls In Sea Giant

THE Chinese fisherman who pulled in this “super fish” was so proud of his catch he strapped it to his vehicle and brought it to market — apparently not realising it was an endangered whale shark.

The disturbing images of the whale shark — which is a protected species — being hauled through the town of Xiangzhi in Fujian province caused a stir on Weibo, China’s equivalent to Twitter.

Fishing captain Cai Chengzhu told News 163 that he and his workers had been lifting their net out of the water when they spotted a huge hole in the side.

“It’s believed that the giant creature broke the net and got inside to eat the fish we caught,” the captain said in the interview, which was translated by the Shanghaiist.

Cai said that the whale shark struggled to escape the net but died shortly afterwards, so the fishermen took it to shore with the rest of their haul.

“By the time we managed to free it, sadly it was too late,” he said.

“It was really unfortunate and we did our best to free it, but having caught it and because it was already dead, it seemed a shame to waste it.

He reportedly planned to sell the enormous whale shark for up to $3500 at the wholesale market in Xiangzhi.

Althought whale sharks in China are a vulnerable species and it is illegal to either buy or sell them, the fact that the shark was dead could change things.

“I asked the fish market officials that monitor this sort of thing, and they said that as it was already dead when we caught it and as it was there we may as well sell it,” he said.