PICS: Whale shark washed ashore in Kommetjie seemingly struck by boat

2019-04-02 07:37
A whale shark measuring 5m was found washed ashore in Kommetjie. (Picture: 
Cape RADD, Facebook)

A whale shark measuring 5m was found washed ashore in Kommetjie. (Picture: Cape RADD, Facebook)

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A whale shark measuring 5m was found washed ashore in Kommetjie in the Western Cape on Monday. 

Whale sharks are the largest known fish, but do not pose a danger to humans as they feed on plankton and small fish. 

According to a statement by NSRI Kommetjie, its unit received calls from members of the public at around 11:00 on Monday of a whale shark that had washed ashore at Long Beach in Kommetjie.

It was suspected that the animal was still alive.

"Our NSRI rescue vehicle responded and the City of Cape Town (CoCT) Marine Animal Stranding Network was activated," said Ian Klopper, NSRI Kommetjie station commander.

"On arrival on the scene, the 5m whale shark was confirmed to be deceased and it appears that the cause of death may have been from a ship strike.

"NSRI Kommetjie rescue swimmers recovered the carcass to the beach where CoCT solid waste removal teams arrived to recover the carcass which has been transported to the University of Cape Town for scientific examination together with the Department of Environmental Affairs - Oceans and Coasts," Klopper said. 

Though a fish and not a mammal, the name "whale shark" refers to its size, being as large as some species of whales. 

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Read more on:    nsri  |  cape town  |  marine life

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