Preservation of rare whale shark to cost $5 million

STAFF REPORT IBD: The whale shark, found dead in the Arabian Sea and later landed at the Pakistan Museum of National History (PMNH) Islamabad from Karachi, will be preserved and made part of its priceless collection.
“The preservation of the fish would take about six months involving around $5 million,” Chairman Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) Dr Manzoor Hussain Soomro told this scribe. He said that the 42-foot long whale is chemically processed before it was taken to Islamabad. The preservation at the PMNH will include taxidermy, which will cost Rs2.5 million.
Its skin and bones came in a truck and reached the museum Friday afternoon. The air around the dead fish, in some 20 to 30-foot radius, was filled with strong repelling stench.
The whale shark is considered the biggest fish in the world. It is a rare species declared vulnerable by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) because of its fast depleting population.
This particular fish weighed 16 tons (16,000kg). Its liver weighed about 800kg, stomach 600kg and was carrying as many as 1,500 eggs in its belly, Dr. Manzoor revealed.
“Its cause of death will be ascertained once the test reports from labs are received in about two-week time,” he said.

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