STAFF REPORT KHI: Whale shark, a highly docile marine species enjoying a protected status in many countries, is mercilessly killed in Pakistan, often after becoming entangled in long fishing nets that are in extensive use in the country despite international restrictions, a seminar has recently been held to mark International Day of Whale Sharks.
It was said that over the past five years, there had been at least 27 reported killings of whale sharks along the countrys coast. The government should ban its fishing and punish those found involved in its killing, said speakers at the seminar, which was organised by Karachi University Institute of Marine Sciences in collaboration with the World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan, at the varsitys arts auditorium.
“Scientific work on whale sharks in Pakistan is far too limited and there is a need to explore this area,” said Director of the institute Dr Rashida Qari.
She said that whale shark was the largest fish and it was because of their enormous size that they were referred to as whales, though they are shark.
WWF-P technical adviser on marine fisheries Moazzam Khan said that Pakistan was an important whale area of the world where the smallest and the largest specimen of the species had been found.