This is the moment fishermen rescue an endangered whale shark that had become trapped in their nets.
The incident took place one nautical mile from the coast of Palghar in the western Indian state of Maharashtra.
The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is a slow-moving, filter-feeding carpet shark and the largest known fish species.
According to the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the whale shark is categorised as ‘endangered’.
Reports said that the fishermen felt “strong jerks” under the boat after dropping their nets in the water.
Upon closer inspection, they found the huge fish trapped in the nets.
Video Credit: CEN
According to fisherman Hitendra Meher, the shark “weighed around 900 kilogrammes (1,984 lbs) and was around 30 feet long”.
He said that the fishing team was “shocked” and called the sighting “extremely rare”.
The fishermen struggled to free the whale shark for about “an hour or so”.
In the video, footage, the fishing team is seen using a long pole to free the huge fish from their nets before it finally manages to swim away.
Professor Bhushan Bhoir said. “They are not considered predators and do not pose a threat to humans. They eat only small fish and plankton and are unable to swim against the currents.”
Bhoir claimed that illegal hunters kill the endangered whale sharks for their meat and oil.