Up to twenty people helped to keep a 7-meter-long whale shark alive before pushing it back into the sea on Green Island, in a difficult rescue operation involving Coast Guard officers, marine scientists, and members of the general public, yesterday, December 22.
Coast Guard officers on Green Island received a report at around 4:30 pm that a large whale shark was seen stranded on rocks at Sleeping Beauty Rock Beach. When coast guard officers arrived at the scene, residents of the island were already working at keeping the shark moistened with seawater.
Marine scientists from Green Island Marine Research Station soon joined the rescue operation.
Rescuers had to contend with an ebbing tide on a rocky terrain. Due to the terrain, no vehicles, such as cranes or excavators could be brought in to help lift the animal, which was estimated to weigh more than one tonne.
It took around 20 people to move the animal back into the water at around 6:30 pm.
The whale shark Rhincodon typus is a protected marine animal in Taiwan, where fishing of the species became prohibited in 2008.
Pictures: Taiwan Coast Guard Administration.
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