While the news of a 40-foot long whale shark caught in Pakistan, and apparently sold for $18,750 has made the news, nobody is enquiring into the cause of death of the shark, and whether the shark was already dead as claimed by the fishermen, or it was killed on purpose.
The whale shark is a gentle creature and included in endangered species.
According to reports given by the fishery owner, Mehmood Khan, who arranged to tow the shark to shore, it was spotted unconscious ten days ago.
So, what was done in those ten days except to prepare for hauling it to shore and selling it off?
According to Mehmood Khan the fish was spotted 150 km into the sea from his fishery. If that is true, how does the whale shark continue to bleed so profusely as to turn the waters red where it is hauled in?
Do mammals continue to bleed profusely after death, ten days in a frigid sea, and being towed for 150 km through saltwater?
A look at the photo of the whale shark posted by Asif Khan shows that the water below the whale has turned bright red with blood. That raises many questions, and comments on the internet already contain some of those.
A point to note is that Pakistan is an Islamic state, and under Shariat law an already dead mammal is unfit for consumption.
So, who bought the fish for such a huge price? The locals, with a predominantly Muslim majority would not touch food that was not halaal and considered consumable under Islamic tents. And the whale shark, being included in endangered species cannot be auctioned internationally or sold off to foreign countries.
The questions are many, as we said before. The death of this gentle giant can be another episode in a parody that has seen an unnaturally large number of whales, sharks, and baby whales choosing to die and turn up in the waters of Pakistan with regularity.
Only wildlife activists can get to the bottom of this story.