Whale shark washes up on shore in central Vietnam; funeral planned

By Que Ha, Thanh Nien News

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The whale shark of around six meters long hit the shore in Mui Ne on May 11, 2015. Photo: Le Huan The whale shark of around six meters long hit the shore in Mui Ne on May 11, 2015. Photo: Le Huan

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A whale shark of around 3.5 tons washed ashore in the central coastal town Mui Ne Monday.
Local fishers, who believe that the fish was their protector, will hold a funeral for it. 
It’s still not clear how the fish, which belongs to a vulnerable species, died. 
Locals said it was around six meters long, with a mouth as wide as one meter.
Tran Quy, a fisherman with more than 60 years of experience, said fishing communities worship large fish for protecting their boats during rough waters.
“We are asking the authorities for permission to bury the fish in accordance with traditional rituals,” he told news website VnExpress.
Whale shark, which is the largest known extant fish species with a maximum confirmed length of 12.65 meters (41.50 ft) and a weight of more than 21.5 metric tons, is a target of commercial fisheries.
Although its population is still unknown, the International Union for Conservation of Nature describes the species as vulnerable.

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