The world's largest fish, a whale shark, was washed ashore on a beach in Visakhapatnam but it was sent back to sea by the authorities with the help of fishermen and animal conservationists, an official said.An Andhra Pradesh forest department official said a group of local fishermen on December 18 rescued a shark trapped in a shore fishing net at Tantadi beach in Visakhapatnam.Visakhapatnam District Forest Officer (DFO) Anant Shankar, said the whale shark was guided back to the sea by the forest department officials, fishermen and wildlife conservationists.It was on the evening of December 18 that some fishermen noticed a large fish being washed ashore on the beach. They immediately alerted the people around and tried to push it back towards the sea. They sought the help of a wildlife volunteer who was near the location. He then immediately brought it to the attention of forest officials and wildlife conservationists.
According to DFO, the whale shark with dotted patterns is the largest fish in the world and it is an endangered species.The official said sending back the 2-tonne fish back to the sea was a Herculean task but he was happy that they finally succeeded in their efforts.The authorities will share the shark's pictures with the Maldives Whale shark research programme for identification. The official said this would help understand the movements and territories of this species.Anant Shankar said they advised the fishermen to approach the forest department for rescue and safe release directly in such an eventuality. He said they would take measures to speed up the process of rescue as time will be crucial in such situations.The DFO assured that fishermen will be given compensation in case of any damages to their fishing nets in case the whale sharks get entangled.