The carcass of a whale shark was found at Mumbai’s Sassoon dock on Wednesday, prompting the authorities to initiate an investigation. Whale sharks are a protected species under the Wildlife Protection Act and also part of the list of endangered species kept by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Maharashtra Fisheries Department Commissioner Atul Patne told Hindustan Times that the whale shark was apparently left at the dock by some fishermen who had caught it. Pane said in a tweet that he has ordered an investigation into the incident.
The whale shark was injured after being hit by a fishing vessel, according to The Times of India. Distressing visuals on social media showed the whale shark’s body decomposing.
Range Forest Officer (mangrove cell) Suresh Warak told Hindustan Times that the whale shark was approximately 25-feet-long.
The whale shark or Rhincodon typus is slow-moving filter-feeding carpet shark. It is the largest known extant fish species.