I am pretty much emotional about the happening off the shores of Batangas, for those who are not in the PI or follow the news about several happenings, fishermen slaughtered a six meter Whale Shark.

The slaughtered Whale Shark was caught and his fins cut off. That all is covered by the Bantay Dagat of this area who is actually in charge for the protection of this creatures. According to that guy fishermen tried to free the Whale Shark entangled in a net… well, as you can see on the pictures they had the right tools to cut the fins in a very clean way.

Here the first report I found in the Philippine Daily Inquirer early this week:

BATANGAS CITY—A dead whale shark without fins and a tail was buried on the shores of Tingloy Island on Tuesday morning, inscribing a sad epilogue to a Manila conference of 50 nations for the protection of the endangered fish species.

Locally known as “butanding,” the juvenile whale shark (Rhincodon typus) was found at 9:30 a.m. on Monday by a group of foreign and local divers in Barangay Maricaban on the island, 44 kilometers from this city.

It was still alive but “very weak” when the group left it at 5 p.m., said Rey Manalo, head of the Bantay-Dagat (sea patrol) in Tingloy.

Manalo said the whale shark, measuring 18 feet, could have gotten accidentally entangled in a net laid out by a group of island fishermen who were catching fish nearby.

They must have tried to rescue the creature with their bare hands but could not do so without cutting its fins and tail, he said.

Since it could no longer swim, the hapless giant fish was placed in cool waters with Bantay-Dagat personnel watching over it, Manalo said. Unfortunately, it died on Monday night and was buried on the shore the next morning, he said.

Gimme a fucking break…..they cut the fins with their bare hands ???

Here another report from the GMANews.tv:

An international group seeking the protection of endangered species condemned the attack on a whale shark (locally called the butanding) found off the shores of Tingloy Island in Batangas province last Monday.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the World Wildlife Fund voiced concern over the possible slaughter of the shark, whose fins were sliced off.

“WWF condemns the perpetrators of this illegal act. This is a real eye opener, for it proves that the slaughter of endangered species – even one as big as a butanding – can still take place if we let our guards down,” said WWF Philippines Conservation Programs vice president Joel Palma.

Divers found the shark last Monday. It was later taken near the Caban Cove where volunteers from Bantay Dagat, a civilian fisheries patrol in the country’s coastal areas, tried to attend to the shark.

“Sadly, its wounds were too great – and the shark, nicknamed Tingloy Baby, died the next day (Tuesday)… and was laid to rest in Caban Cove,” the World Wildlife Fund said.

The statement quoted Bantay Dagat members as saying that its members and local police recently found fishing vessels with strobe lights operating on Mabini town’s shores.

The fishermen were asked to leave, but they later transferred to Tingloy town. The incident prompted WWF and Bantay Dagat to allege that the fishermen could be the possible culprits of the incident.

Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources director Malcolm Sarmiento also said the agency would investigate the possible slaughter of the whale shark.

In the Philippines, whale sharks have been hunted in the waters off Bohol, Misamis Oriental and Sorsogon, the WWF said.

“Shark fins and meat are usually exported to China, Hongkong and Taiwan. Whale shark flesh, called ‘Tofu meat’ sells for roughly $8 (P360) per kilogram, while dried shark fins are valued a hundred times more – approximately $800 (P36,000) per kilogram,” it said.

Citing BFAR data, the WWF said about 200 whale sharks were slaughtered in 1997 alone, prompting the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the BFAR to call for legal action to protect the whale shark.

Republic Act No. 8550 or the Fisheries Administrative Order prohibits the possession or slaughter of whale sharks. Violators are punished with four years in jail, a maximum fine of P10,000 and the cancellation of the violator’s fishing license.

Well, if you look at the numbers and know even only a tiny little bit about the attitude of 95% of the population of this country it is easy to understand that they go for the US$800 per kilo as the investigation will end where most things ending here … in the middle of fucking nowhere.

Finally there is a Diver on scubaboard.com who was actually involved in the rescue try. All the pictures are from him. Here is what he wrote (source: http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/5052410-post17.html )

I was one of the group of divers who found the Whale Shark in Anilao. Judging by the rope marks around the tail and damage to the underside of the fish, this magnificent creature had been roped up and pulled onto a boat to be finned before being discarded into the ocean.

It was still alive when we found it, though only just. The muscles around its fins were still trying to move them and eyes still alert.

The guys from the Acacia Dive Resort called out the Marine Police who arrived within the hour and reporters from the local and national news. Footage from one of our divers – Pete was aired the same day on the local news and the following day on the national news.

I understand that media pressure in the Philippines brought an end to the slaughter of Thresher Sharks last year (is this true?) and hope the same will come out of this senseless act. I fear though that this slaughter will continue while there is a demand and whilst the authorities appear to cover up what appears to me to clearly be a blatant capture and finning.

Of course the fisherman who perpetrated this act should be pursued but it is the demand that also needs to be stopped and how does one do that?

I wish my first encounter with these magnificent creatures had been much more pleasant experience but hope these photos and videos can be put to good use to help bring an end to the destruction of these gentle giants of the oceans!

While I write this and look at the pictures I am more than angry, I am shaking shaking shaking, got tears in my eyes, desperate …fucking assholes …