A whale shark that was entangled in a fishing net got a new lease of life after a group of fishermen on Tantadi beach in Andhra Pradesh's Visakhapatnam rescued it.
The shark was later guided back to the sea by forest department officials, fishermen, and wildlife conservationists.
"It was a whale shark, the world's largest fish. These are endangered," said District Forest Officer (DFO), Anant Shankar.
"The instructions were simple - guide the whale shark to safety, sparing no efforts or expenses. What ensued were herculean efforts, both physical and mental, with tremendous coordination and collaboration by the forest department, fishermen, and wildlife conservationists, to guide this 2-tonne fish back into the ocean alive. And it was a success. The whale shark successfully swam back into the depths of the ocean," he said.
"The shark's pictures are now being shared with the Maldives Whale shark research programme for identification. This would help us to understand the movements and territories of these gentle giants better. Additionally, the fishermen are being advised and requested to approach the forest department for rescue and safe release directly in such an eventuality, as in such operations, time is of the essence. The fishermen will be given compensation in case of any damages to their fishing nets for release of Whale sharks in case the whale sharks get entangled in their fishing nets," he said.