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8 Ton Whale shark found dead on Lanta beach, Thailand

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Tanyaluk Sakoot

Tuesday 16 October 2012

PHUKET: A large whale shark was found dead on Koh Lanta on Sunday morning (October 14), washed ashore on Klong Nin Beach near the Lanta Nice Beach Resort.


Personnel from the Phuket Marine Biological Center and the Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command bury the eight-ton whale shark found dead on Koh Lanta Yai on Sunday. Photo: Royal Thai Navy  

Measuring eight meters in length and weighing about eight tons, the shark is thought to have been dead between five and seven days before being cast ashore.

The Phuket-based Andaman Sea Fisheries Research and Development Centre sent scientists to examine the carcass. They concluded that the animal might have been mortally wounded by a trawler.

Lanta Yai municipality organised an excavator to bury the dead shark under the beach.

Whale sharks are the largest fish in the ocean, growing to recorded lengths of more than 12 metres and weighing more than 20 tons.

Moving ponderously through the water, whale shark are filter feeders, living mainly off plankton. The species is considered “vulnerable” by the UN-affiliated International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

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