KARACHI – For Dilawar Hussain, catching one of the biggest fish in the Pakistani waters came with a heavy price. Although the fisherman sold off his enormous catch with a hefty price tag of Rs 170,000, the maritime security personnel caught whiff and reportedly arrested him on “unspecified charges”.
In the early hours of Tuesday at the Karachi Fish Harbour (KFH), Hussain brought to the Hora Jetty a 40 feet long whale shark, Rhincodon typus, weighing in at a massive four tonnes.
A large crowd gathered at the jetty making it difficult for the KFH rescuers to reclaim the fish from the sea.
Two huge cranes of 35 tonnes each were called in to reclaim the prize from the sea and it took them at least six hours in pulling the huge fish out of the water. The operation also rendered a part of the Hora Jetty badly damaged.
Reportedly, the fish was caught late Sunday night at the Ghora Pari Point around 50 miles away from the Karachi harbour off Arabian Sea. Locally called the “Andhi Magar” or blind fish, the whale shark had died after entangling in the fisherman’s net at Indo-Pakistan sea border area known as “Kaar”.
The 4,000-kg whale shark was, reportedly, auctioned off for Rs 0.17 million.
The fish meat may be used in the production of poultry feed.
Considered the largest extant fish species in the world, the whale shark is a slow-moving filter feeding shark. The largest individual confirmed on record had a length of 12.65 metres (41.50 feet) and weighed over 21.5 tonnes. Unconfirmed reports suggest the presence of considerably larger whale sharks.
The distinctively-marked fish with a lifespan of about 70 years is found in tropical and warm oceans.
Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports suggested that Hussain was arrested by security personnel either from the Pakistan Navy (PN) or the Maritime Security Agency (MSA), raising many question over the legality of the fisherman’s arrest.
However, the spokespersons of PN and MSA, when contacted, denied that any of their quarters concerned had detained any person.
PN’s Commodore Salman Ali told Pakistan Today said: “None of our quarters have reported the arrest [of Hussain]. Our presence at fisheries [KFH] is negligible.”
MSA spokesman Muhammad Farooque also denied involvement of his agency in the matter.
The obscurity surrounding Hussain’s detention, however, cleared when sources at the KFH informed Pakistan Today that the fisherman was arrested by the personnel of the Marine Fisheries Department (MFD).
Even this raises serious questions about the security arrangements inside Pakistani waters as to how the fisherman managed to freely tow the mammoth fish from Kaar to the Karachi harbour without any security checks.
Four security agencies, including KFH, Karachi Port Trust (KPT), Pakistan Customs and MSA, are working in the Pakistani territorial waters.
The MFD was able to arrest the fisherman only after his arrival at the KFH.
Talking with Pakistan Today, former KFH director general Moazzam said the whale shark is one of the largest fish in the world. “Whale sharks live in warm waters and Pakistani waters are a breeding place for the fish,” he said.
“We had caught the babies of whale sharks in 1982, 1988 and 2005,” Moazzam recalled, adding that the existing laws in Pakistan are silent on catching such fish. “Any fisherman can catch the whale shark in the sea,” he said.
The shark was placed in the outer section of the KFH for exhibition, where the general public visited in great numbers to see the fish. Pakistan-today
All is ‘whale’: ‘Moby Dick’ comes to town ahead of Karachi Literature Festival
A 35-foot long whale-shark dragged into the Karachi harbour will go on display for three days at the auction hall where its owner will charge viewers.
Fishermen dragged it to Karachi harbour in the morning, triggering chaos for the authorities as they battled to control hundreds of onlookers while they decided what to do with the mammal.
The Karachi Fish Harbour Authority (KFHA) took more than four hours to lift the seven-ton whale, which was found in shallow waters off the Gadani coast in Balochistan, fishermen said.
“It was dead when my men found it,” said Muhammad Yousuf, who owns the fibre boat that was used to tow the body to Karachi. “We will try to auction it. Let’s see what it fetches us.”
Part of the whale-shark’s fin was cut off and it was bleeding from the gills when the two heavy duty cranes pulled it up from the water. At first, the authorities tried to take it out of the water using a smaller crane but its pulley wires broke. A 35-ton crane had to do the job.
Worlds Biggest Shark Caught in Karachi Pakistan 7th Feb 2012
Worlds Biggest Shark Caught in Karachi Pakistan 7th Feb 2012
Uploaded by MrAsifamiraltaf on Feb 8, 2012
Hundreds of people gathered at a fish harbor in Pakistan’s city Karachi on Tuesday to see a 40-feet long dead fish, a sight uncommon in the country during the past many years.
The giant whale shark washed ashore on Tuesday but according to media reports it was spotted unconscious 10 days ago some 150 kilometers away from the fishery.
A video of Geo News about the dead giant fish is available here. According to this video some fishermen had gone out fishing on Tuesday and had found the dead fish and brought it to Karachi Fish Harbor.
The dead whale shark was lifted off the water with the help of more than two cranes, after earlier attempts had failed.
In July 2010 a 17-foot whale shark was found on the shores of Hawksbay in Karachi, but Tuesday’s fish was certainly more than double in size and weight.
Later in the evening the Express Tribune newspaper reported that dead shark was sold at Rs 1.7 million (around $18,888). The report also reads: “Two cranes were called in to fish the dead whale shark out of the water, which was approximately40 to 50-feet long and six-feet wide. Both cranes failed to pull out the fish and were sent back as at least three more cranes were required to carry out the task.”
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Later in the evening, the carcass of the whale was sold for Rs200,000 but only after stirring a controversy.
“We all thought it was auctioned for Rs1.7 million. Now it has been confirmed that Qasim Niazi, a fisheries dealer, bought it for much less than that,” said Hafeezur Rehman, an official at the fisheries auction hall.
The whale will be put on display for the public and the buyer will charge the visitors, he said. For three days the whale will be kept at the harbour’s auction hall.
Fishermen, who had gathered at the dockyards, spent the day speculating about the mammal. “It’s just a large Billi Mangra (catfish),” said one fisherman.
“No, no it’s an Andhi Mangra (blind dolphin),” said another.
The Bengali fishermen were quick to take the credit. “We want everyone to know that only the Bengalis could catch such a large fish,” said a man named Ahmed. “The men who had actually caught it were also Bengalis.”
But the fishermen who found the whale-shark were conspicuous by their absence. Others made up for a lack of fact by telling each other fictions, that a short four-foot tall Bengali fisherman had jumped onto the whale with a knife and killed it. Others said that diesel was poured on to its gills to suffocate it. An elderly fisherman with missing teeth boasted that whale-sharks had tried to swallow him twice and it couldn’t be killed.
So many men were spitting paan into the mud-filled water that it was hard to tell if the red was from the body or them. As soon as the whale-shark was placed on the harbour, more than 40 men and children climbed on to it, jumping up and down, clapping and laughing.
“Macchi ki khushi may panch ruppay ki mithai,” shouted M Mohsin, who said he had earned Rs500 selling sweets in half an hour, an amount that normally took him a day to earn.
KFHA Deputy Director Syed Intiqaab Hussain said there used to be natural museum where skeletons of sea animals were kept. But it was closed a couple of years back.
Another KFHA official, Shameer Khan, said that a whale-shark of this size could easily fetch Rs1.5 million on the international market. “The Chinese use the fins to make soup. The liver is also very expensive as the oil from it is used to make special medicines,” he said. The oil is mostly used to lubricate the bottom of the boats.
National Institute of Oceanography’s biologist Dr Hina Baig said that the whale-shark must have lost its way and become stuck in the shallow waters. “Whales use eco-sounds to find their way in water and if a large ship comes in the way, they get disoriented.”
Whales live in deep waters and rarely visit Pakistan’s relatively shallower coast, she said. “But the period between November and January is crucial since they come here to find food and get stuck.”
The Red tide, a single cell toxic plant, is often the cause of the death of the mammal, she said. “But it is very hard to say what killed this whale.”
Marine biologist at the WWF Moazam Khan said that around 30 whale-sharks have been found dead in Pakistani waters in the past seven years. “No one kills them intentionally now.” He said that the whale shark is an endangered species and should not be killed in any case.
Published in The Express Tribune,
Fishermen make paltry amount by
Fishermen killed and transported an 11-meter long whale shark, weighing in at 22 tons, to the Karachi Fish Harbour from the open seas. Although they paid Rs50,000 alone to lift and transport the carcass of this endangered sea mammal, they were only able to sell it for Rs170,000 as fish trash.
The crew of the small fishing boat, Al-Hafeez, spotted the sea giant near Ghora Bari in the Arabian sea. Experts believe that the crew fed the animal diesel or fresh water to kill it, and then towed the creature to the harbour in hopes of making a profit by auctioning it.
The dead marine mammal did not, however, prove to be worth the hectic efforts made by the fishermen: they paid Rs50,000 to crane operators to lift the dead animal out of the water, but were only able to make a few thousand each, as the animal was auctioned for Rs170, 000, according to officials at the harbour.
A large number of people had excitedly gathered at the Karachi Fish Harbour upon learning that fishermen had caught a mammoth fish; several children and adults were even seen jumping on the body of the dead whale shark.
Initially, the owner of the boat had hired two small cranes to lift the whale shark. The two cranes were unsuccessful in lifting the 22 ton animal out of the water, which prompted the boat’s owner to arrange for a single heavy-duty crane to get the job done.
Marine experts said the fish was a whale shark, scientific name Rhincodon Typus. It is better known as “Andhi Mangar” among the local fishermen. The experts said that the creature was a blind sea animal; it was not a predator, nor was at all as ferocious as it appeared, and that it probably proved easy prey for the fishermen.
Experts deplored the fact that no law existed at the provincial or federal levels to prevent the killing and sale of such a precious, rare and large fish. They stated that such animals are usually not used for human consumption, and that their killing deprives the Pakistani waters of an extremely rare organism.
Fisheries sources said the whale shark, which was sold as trash at the harbour, would not be used for preparing poultry feed. Former director KFHA and Marine expert Dr Moazzam Khan informed The News that the whale shark is an endangered species. They stressed the need to create awareness about the affects of it being hunted in Pakistani waters.
“It is of no use of humans other than that its oil is used for wooden fishing boats or for making poultry feed. I read an old article that said that Britishers living in Karachi used to hunt wale sharks in late 19th century and early 20th century, and that this practice continued till the creation of Pakistan” he recalled.
Dr Khan pointed out that this type of whale shark was an extremely vulnerable marine creature. He urged to fishermen to avoid hunting it, even though there were no laws in place against doing so. the news
40-foot long dead whale sold at Rs 1.7m
KARACHI: The 40-foot long whale, found dead by a jetty in Karachi, was sold for Rs 1.7million on Tuesday. Mehmood Khan, owner of the Charai Fishery, said that the whale shark was spotted unconscious ten days ago, 150 kms away from the fishery. Two cranes were called in to fish the dead whale shark out of the water, which was approximately 40 to 50 feet long and six feet wide. Both cranes failed to pull out the fish and were sent back as at least three more cranes were required to carry out the task. Later, more cranes, capable of lifting heavier weights, were called in, which successfully pulled the fish out after several hours of continued efforts. The dead fish remained the focus of interest for the media and the curious onlookers during the whole process. People struggled to see the dead shark at the shore and cranes struggled to lift it, as the news whispered Karachiites rushed towards Karachi Fisheries Harbour Authority to watch the austere beauty of the sea. This is not the first time Karachi beach has welcomed such a massive fish carcass. Last September, a 25 feet long dead whale washed ashore Karachi beach attracting a large number of spectators. inp