Experts from the Nha Trang Institute of Oceanography in the central province of Khanh Hoa have confirmed that a fish weighing nearly 200 kilograms that washed up on the Nha Trang beach on December 26 belongs to the long-tailed shark family, making it the first shark to be spotted in the area.
Chu Anh Khanh from the institute said the shark, whose scientific name is Common Thresher Shark Alopias Sp., was a male of 2 meters in lenght. He said it weighed around 180 kilograms and its diameter was around 60-70 centimeters, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.
Khanh said when he came to the area where the shark was found, it was still alive but very weak and was severely wounded. Locals and tourists had pulled it ashore.
"I reported to the institute that if the shark dies, I would bring it back to the institute to use as a model. But some foreign tourists didn't agree, saying that they thought the shark was still alive and needed to be return to the sea."
"But when released into the sea, the shark was battered by large waves several times before it disappeared and due to the darkness we couldn't find it. I think it is possible that the fish died," he said.
According to the Nha Trang Oceanography Institute, long-tailed sharks typically live in the area around 60-90 kilometers from shore and 366 meters under the sea.
The fish has a small mouth and usually eat small fishes. It is said not to be danger for humans and has been ranked as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
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