A group of fishers in Muthalappozhi Harbour in Trivandrum discovered a Whale Shark measuring 20 feet in length entangled in a purse seine net.
Whale Shark Rescue: In a heartwarming effort, compassionate fishers of Muthalappozhi Harbour rescued and released a massive Whale Shark that got entangled in a ring net. The incident took place earlier this week when a group of fishers in Muthalappozhi Harbour in Trivandrum discovered a Whale Shark measuring 20 feet in length entangled in a purse seine net, commonly known as a ring net. Taking swift action, the fishers put in all efforts to free the distressed animal.
The rescue mission was a testament to the dedication and commitment of the local fisher community. It took three hours of tireless work to free the massive Whale shark so it could safely return to the open waters. This operation was made possible, in part, due to the efforts of the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) through their “Save the Whale Shark” Campaign.
As a proactive step toward Whale shark conservation, WTI conducted a sensitisation event and provided app training to the fishermen of Muthalappozhi just a week before this incident occurred. These educational initiatives not only help raise awareness but also equip the fisher community with the knowledge and tools necessary to respond to such critical situations.
The heroes of the day were undoubtedly the brave crew consisting of 40 fishers aboard the fishing boat named ‘Emmanual 2.’ Their swift and courageous response to this emergency played a crucial role in the rescue of this species, which is listed as ‘endangered’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Sajan John, Marine Specialist at Wildlife Trust of India said, “By saving this magnificent creature, the fishers of Muthalappozhi not only demonstrated their commitment to marine life conservation but also showcased the positive impact of education and community involvement in safeguarding our oceans and their incredible inhabitants. This marks the eighth Whale Shark to be rescued and released along the Kerala coast since our campaign was launched here.”
Ajith Shangumugham, a local fisherman said, “Fishers are always concerned about the health of the ocean and we will try our best to safeguard our ocean and its resources.”