Featured Image Credit: National Geographic
By: Sarah Sharkey
Recreational SCUBA divers were enjoying a dive off the coast of Cenderawasih Bay, west Papau, Indonesia, when they spotted four whale sharks trapped in a net. The whale sharks were stuck in a midsize trawl net that is usually used to capture large schools of fish or shrimp. The whales sharks usually prey on small food like that, so that is the reason they were attracted to the net. Also all four of the sharks were juveniles, so they are just generally more curious about their environment.
The underwater footage shows the divers slowly lowering the net from top to bottom and gently pulling the veil aside so that the sharks could swim out. The two sharks at the bottom of the net needed to be unwrapped and guided out of the opening.
Whale sharks are endangered and commercial fishing is one of their biggest threats to existence. This video clearly shows just how large the problem is. There were four sharks caught in this one net!
Chief of strategy for the ocean advocacy group Oceana, Margot Stiles said: “I was so happy to see them freed, Usually that’s not the case.”
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