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Rare shark found dead off coast


People look at the carcass of a dead whale shark near Sihanoukville town yesterday. Photograph: supplied

Hundreds of observers gathered in Sihanoukville’s Leak 1 commune yesterday morning to see a sight that’s become increasingly rare in any part of the world: the body of a dead whale shark.

The whale shark is the largest fish species in the world and classified as endangered.

The animal was found dead by a group of fishermen operating between Koh Del Kol and Koh Tas. They pulled it to shore with nets and ropes, according to Fishery Administration official Doung Sam Ath.

The fishery administration in Sihanoukville said the fisherman will not be allowed to do anything to harm the shark’s remains or allow others to eat it pending an examination to determine the cause of death.

Whale sharks are often fished commercially and are hunted in some parts of Asia including Taiwan and the Philippines.

“The whale shark is among 29 giant fish species and lives in deep water,” Sam Ath said. “We do not know exactly why it died.”

The shark measured 5 metres long and 1 metre wide, and weighed more than one tonne.

According to the Council of Ministers, Cambodia declared the whale shark an endangered species in August 2009.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sen David at



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