[UPDATE: 09/07] Man arrested after dead whale shark spotted being driven through Fujian city on back of pickup
On Monday, a dead whale shark was spotted being driven through the city streets of Fujian’s Xiapu county in the back of a pickup truck before finally coming to a stop at a local hotel.
There, the fishermen offered to sell their catch to the hotel’s kitchen. However, the hotel’s management turned down the generous offer, not because the giant fish is a second-class nationally-protected animal in China, but because it was “too smelly” and likely too full of mercury to eat. The truck was sent back on its way.
By Tuesday, gruesome video leaked online of a group of men cutting the whale shark up with a saw, apparently reasoning that it would likely be easier to sell in more managable pieces.
The photos and videos quickly whipped up a frenzy online, prompting the local government to launch a police investigation into the incident.
Chinese regulations state that whale sharks must be set free right away if caught by fishermen. While it’s illegal to purchase or sell whale shark meat in China, it seems as though the darn things just keep happening to get caught in the nets of Chinese fishermen.
Back in 2014, another Fujian fisherman caught a whale shark. Claiming to not know what it was, he brought the carcass back into town hoping for a big pay day. Unfortunately for him, the local government noticed and told him that it couldn’t be sold off for profit — so they auctioned off the meat at charity prices instead.
[Images via NetEase]
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