A 500-kilogram whale shark was caught and released in the central province of Thua Thien Hue on Sunday, but died later the same day.
The shark, more than 4.5 meters long, was caught in the net of Tran Quang Son about 500 meters from the Chan May Port in Phu Loc District.
Son said he and other fishermen released it into the sea, believing that it is a sacred fish species locals traditionally worship, but the shark died later the same day of fatigue.
Local people are keeping the shark's body, saying they plan to give it to related agencies for scientific research.
If the agencies refuse the offer, they will bury it accordance with local customs.
Listed as "vulnerable" on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species, the whale shark is found in tropical and temperate seas.
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