The world’s largest fish species, whale sharks, were sighted in the Bay of Bengal, Rakhine State, earlier this month.
Whale sharks are usually sighted around the Andaman Sea (near The Mergui Archipelago) and the Bay of Bengal around February to May. However, the whale sharks made a surprising visit to Myanmar in early January, at the Bay of Bengal this year.
In February 2001, Senior General Than Shwe put the endangered species under protection laws, and these laws are enforced today by the Myanmar Government and ensured to have Whale Shark Monitors. It is also reported that this could free two big whale sharks on January 4th, 2021 with Ngapali Beach Pearl Diver Ko Myo Naing, but there was no confirmation.
These protection laws have also saved an endangered whale shark unharmed back into the sea with help from the Rakhine fishermen in early January 2021.
The footage below shows young men cooperating to release the whale shark back to sea as it struggles to escape the net.
This was not their first encounter, for the whale sharks have washed ashore before. The whales were killed for meat, shark fins, fish oils, and their skin for luxury items. However, these acts are now illegal and are protected under international and Myanmar Laws for the endangered species.
Last month, a whale shark was found dead on the shore of Mergui Archipelago island with a deep open wound on the back, and the authorities are still under investigation of this whale’s death.
On a positive note, the whale shark found at Ngwe Saung is safe and sound, and it has found the way back to the natural wildlife.
Feature Image Credit: https://www.thesmilingseahorse.com