One moment this whale shark is swimming freely near an offshore oilfield off the coast of Behai, being admired by onlookers, the next moment it is being strung up for sale at the Chinese harbor, according to the Daily Mail.
As with the killing of any rare creature, it didn’t take long for people to get up in arms about the capture of the whale shark.
Facebook and Twitter commenters reacted exactly like you’d think they would – angrily:
“I would like to string up whoever did this.”
“Beyond outrageous! … Is something being done about it?”
“Shocking and saddening behaviour but EUROPE is the biggest exporter of shark fins so the West is not blameless! We are feeding the demand.”
The below video shows how vendors prepare a whale shark to go to market:
This certainly isn’t the first whale shark to be killed in China, in fact, a National Geographic article claims around 600 of them are killed every year in southeast China.
“If whale sharks are to avoid being hunted to extinction, consumers must be persuaded to reject whale shark products, or any other kind of shark-related products,” the Wildlife Risk website says.
As long as the demand for whale sharks continues, it’s unlikely killings like this will stop, especially when a good carcass gets you $30,000.