If China decides to film its own, gentler version of Jaws, this Guangdong fisherman may have just found the title role.
Photos published by Chinese news portal NetEase show the fisherman’s colossal haul: a 1,500kg whale shark, the largest species of fish in the world.
While the creature does have the appearance of the killer antediluvian leviathan Jules Verne wrote of in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, the whale shark is in fact just a harmless plankton-eating fish, and this one was released back into the sea by the fisherman. Indeed, the benign beast is listed as a protected species by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, although, someone apparently forget to tell this Fujian fisherman.
Sadly, the gentle giant is sometimes a victim of its resemblance to a pre-historic monster. In 2007, another enormous whale-shark found in a Guangdong reservoir was thought to be a man-eating catfish and was cut up in a search for human remains.
It truly was a happening weekend for marine life in Guangdong, after 100,000kg of fish died overnight in one fish farm.
By Liam Bourke