Curious villagers stand near a dead whale shark washed up onshore in Kencong subdistrict, Jember, East Java, on August 30, 2020. (Antara Photo/Seno)
Dead Whale Shark Washes up on East Java Coast
AUGUST 31, 2020
Jakarta. The carcass of a 9-meter whale shark washed up onshore in Jember, East Java, on Sunday, less than two months after a similar incident in the same district.
The giant fish attracted a mob of residents in Kencong subdistrict who took selfies around the carcass.
Officials from the Jember Natural Resources Conservation Office came to the scene to organize a burial.
"We immediately sent our employees to the scene upon learning information from local fishermen about a whale shark being stranded on the coast in Paseban village,” office head Setyo Utomo told Antara news agency.
He estimated the whale shark weighs around two tons.
"Our staffs pulled the carcass onto the shore with the help from villagers and they then dug a grave for the whale shark,” he said.
Setyo said the government has listed the whale shark, which lives in tropical oceans, as endangered species and banned its killing and hunting since 2013.
"If the whale shark is stranded alive, it must be returned to its habitat. But if it’s found dead, the carcass must be buried immediately," Setyo said.
Early last month, three whale sharks were stranded on shore in the same district. One of them ultimately died after being trapped in fishing nets and villagers took its meat for consumption.