Carcass of endangered whale shark found in Johor waters

Curious onlookers gather around the carcass of a five-tonne whale shark which was found floating in the waters of Tanjung Tohor in Johor. (Bernama pic)

MUAR: A whale shark carcass weighing five tonnes was found floating in the waters of Tanjung Tohor this morning before being taken by fishermen to Parit Jawa Fishermen’s Jetty, here today.

Mohd Faris Adman, head of the Muar district Fisheries Office, said: “We believe the whale shark was lost, it may have strayed from its original habitat as the fishermen have never seen the species here before.”

He said the carcass of the whale shark (scientific name Rhincodon typus) was found about seven nautical miles away. It was brought ashore around 2pm today.

Tthe cause of death was unknown. A post-mortem examination would be conducted at the Turtle and Marine Ecosystem Centre in Rantau Abang, Terengganu.

“The whale shark is estimated to be 6.1 metres long and 1.5 metres wide while its gender is yet to be identified, but the Resource Protection Unit will open an investigation paper to find out the cause of death including complete information on the age, sex and actual size of the fish,” he said.

Mohd Faris said the whale shark would be preserved once the post-mortem process was completed.

He said the whale shark was an endangered marine species. He advised fishermen to contact the relevant agency immediately if they came across members of the species.

The image of the fish was widely-shared on social media attracting many people to come and see the animal besides taking pictures of the carcass.