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Huge whale shark sold for $2,200 in Pakistan

Whale shark: A 7.7 ton whale shark was found off the coast of Pakistan. Whale sharks are the biggest fish in the sea.

By Michail VafeiadisContributor / February 8, 2012

Staff of Karachi fisheries lift a 7.7 ton whale shark in Karachi, Pakistan on Tuesday, Feb 7, 2012. The 40-foot fish was found dead in the Arabian Sea.

AP

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A huge whale shark was caught Tuesday morning just 90 miles offshore from the Pakistani city of Karachi.  

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It took four hours and two cranes to lift the 15,430-pound shark out of the water. According to reports, the enormous fish was between 35- and 40-feet long.

The unusual spectacle got the attention of the locals who flocked to Karachi’s harbor to catch a glimpse of the whale shark.

“It was dead when my men found it,” said Muhammad Yousuf, the owner of the boat used to haul the whale shark to the port, Pakistan’s Express Tribune reports.

Later in the day, the carcass of the whale was sold for 200,000 Rupees ($2,200) and will be put on public display for three days at the harbor's auction hall.   The Express Tribune reports that the buyer will charge visitors a fee to see the whale shark.

“I have bought the fish, which usually has no significant commercial value, with the help of my friends just to appreciate the efforts of the fishermen who deserve some reward after spending an entire day in the open sea,” said Haji Qasim, the Pakistani Dawn newspaper reports.

Qasim said that he will  “sell the meat to the people running poultry meal business.” 

About 35 whale sharks have been brought dead or captured in the last seven years nearby the Karachi port, said Mohammad Moazzam Khan, a consultant with Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), according to Dawn.

The whale shark, or Rhincodon typus, is found in warm, tropical waters and has an estimated lifespan of 75 years.

The whale shark is the world's largest fish, and is relatively docile. It has a wide mouth with some 300 to 350 rows of tiny teeth that filter plankton, which consists of small creatures and plants, according to the UN Fisheries and Aquaculture Department

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