Chinese Fishermen Unintentionally Catch Massive 2-Ton Whale Shark

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistAugust 5, 2014

via News 163

It seems odd, but sometimes the biggest catches happen by mistake.

Recently, a group of fishermen in China "accidentally" caught a massive whale shark. According to News 163, the fishermen did not go looking for a whale shark. However, one bit through their net, which was full of fish, and ended up dying after struggling to escape from the net.

The whale shark measured in at 4.5 meters (15 feet) long and weighed nearly two tons.

The fishermen reportedly wanted to sell the huge catch for anywhere from $1,500 to $3,500. Unfortunately for them, it is illegal to catch and sell the endangered species.

The population of whale sharks is thought to only register in the thousands, according to National GeographicAccording to the WWF, the whale shark is the world's biggest fish and shark, and the greatest threat to their survival is by catch or accidental capture in fishing gear. They are also worth a great deal on the black market. A January National Geographic report claims a single carcass can be worth $30,000.

Although selling the whale shark may be illegal, the fishermen think a technicality will work in their favor. According to news.au.com, the fishing captain hopes they will be allowed to sell the whale shark because it was already dead when they discovered it.

Unintentionally catching a two-ton whale shark makes for a wild story, but now the fishermen have to figure out what to do with their catch.

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[h/t Shangaiist.com and USA Today's For The Win]

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