On March 22, 2022, local fishermen and the Forest Department in Vizag rescued a 22-foot whale shark. A big whale shark trapped in fishing nets as it tried to feast on the fish inside was observed by 40 fisherman fishing near the Tantadi Village coast. The Forest Department was promptly notified, and a squad was sent to the whale shark’s rescue near Vizag’s coast.
The team, led by Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Anant Shankar and local fisherman, saved the whale shark in just three hours. At around 2 p.m. on Tuesday, the whale shark that had made its way out during low tide was discovered caught in the nets. With the help of two boats and the DFO’s instructions, a rope was carefully placed around the whale shark, and the fishermen escorted the shark back into the sea.
The fishing net was reported to be fully ruined, with a value of 25,000. The Forest Service has promised to compensate and reward the fisherman for their bravery and loss. The officials praised the fishermen’s efforts and swift response in rescuing the endangered shark. Under the professional guidance of department official M. Srikanth, the entire operation was finished in less than four hours.
“It is wonderful to see awareness rising among fishermen and sensitivity towards conservation of protected marine species,” the DFO remarked in response to the issue. The Forest Service will continue to work to promote awareness among the general public and the fishing community, as well as to engage them in conservation-related activities.”
The Forest Department in Vizag had previously successfully executed similar rescue operations to conserve the whale shark. In the last two months, two endangered sharks have been rescued near the Vizag shore.
Here is a peek into the recent rescue of a whale shark off the Visakhapatnam coast.Forest department & the local fishermen took to the rescue and successful release of the whale shark.
Kudos to the whole team for the efforts! @anant_aranya @NandaniSalaria @AP_Forest pic.twitter.com/0TxxP9Z7sa
— WCTRE (@wctre_org) March 23, 2022