Indonesia: Boat hits whale shark in Jayapura waters

The Jakarta Post 25 Aug 16;

A whale shark, measuring around 4 meters in length, was killed after it was struck by a boat in Jayapura waters, Papua, on Thursday morning.

The police chief of Jayapura Seaport area, Adj. Comr. Abraham Soumilena, said the KM Labobar vessel hit the endangered species on its way from Serui in Yapen Islands regency to Jayapura.

“There has been two times during the last three years a ship hits a whale shark in Jayapura waters,” said Abraham as quoted by on Thursday.

Jayapura Seaport’s fisheries quarantine coordinator Izaak Andrie said his institution had coordinated with the ship’s captain to dispose the body of the animal in the high seas.

“The shark’s corpse should not be released in Jayapura waters because it can spread illnesses. The corpse will be brought to the high seas so its decomposition process will not create any problems,” said Izaak.

Reportedly, the Labobar's crew members managed to fish out the whale shark from the water and put it on the ship's prow, 10:30 a.m. local time.

Local residents in Papua often refer to whale sharks as gurano bintang. The whale shark is one of the biggest fish in the world. It can measures up to 20 m in length while the smallest whale shark can measure just 55 centimeters.

Whale sharks can easily be found in Kwatisore waters, West Papua, and its surrounding areas. The diet of a whale shark consists of prawns, squids, small fish and tuna. (ebf)

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