KARACHI: Like other parts of the world, the International Whale Shark Day will be observed in the country today. The day is being observed to step up efforts to save the largest specie of waters. For this purpose, the WWF-Pakistan in collaboration with the University of Karachi organised a seminar titled ‘Whale Shark: Biology, Fisheries Interactions and Conservation in Pakistan’. The speakers stressed the need for preservation the creature.
WWF-Pakistan Director Rab Nawaz stressed the inclusion of the specie in schedule of the Wildlife Act of Sindh and Balochistan to ban catching, trade and utilisation of the whale shark. He said India has already included whale sharks in schedule of the Indian Wildlife Act. This inclusion has lessened the mortality rate of whale shark in India.
But in Pakistan, he said, we have seen a recent incident in which a dead shark was brought to seashore of Karachi. “According to a WWF, shark got tangled in a net. It had reportedly died before it got caught in the net.
Moreover, three such events have taken place in the recent past. Although the whale shark is not consumed in Pakistan, but its meat is used for fish meal, liver is used for extraction of oil and fins are exported illegally to Hong Kong and China,” he asserted.
WWF technical advisor Muhammad Moazzam Khan stressed the need for the protection of whale sharks because northern Arabian Sea border of Pakistan is one the most important feeding, basking and breeding ground in thy world.
There are only a few places in the world where documented record of their breeding was available, he said. He also provided record of whale shark mortality during the past 8 years.–Staff Reporter