SHARKS and fishermen aren’t known to be bosom buddies, but representatives of both species developed a sort of ‘finship’, recently.
Incredible video of a whale shark, docilely approaching a fishing boat off East Malaysia and quietly appealing to the fisherman onboard for help, has surfaced on the Internet and gone spectacularly viral.
The whale shark’s predicament was that it had a loop of rope caught around its midsection, which was presumably causing the gentle creature – a filter feeder which is no danger to humans – considerable discomfort.
One of the many copies of the 1-minute-and 54-second video, taken by a mobile phone, shows the world’s largest fish swimming towards the boat and keeping stationary next to it to allow the fishermen, who are clearly excited by the event, to remove the rope.
One man gently lowers a pole with a hook at the end to grab hold of the rope, and after several tries, manages to snag it, while also drawing the whale shark closer to the boat.
Once within arm’s length, another fisherman produces a rather alarming-looking cleaver – but he gently slices the rope’s fibres until the cord is completely severed and easily separates from the whale shark’s body.
Thankful to be freed of its lasso, the whale shark drifts away – but not before swishing its tail on the surface of the water, creating quite a splash, as an expression of thanks to his saviours.
The fishermen – whose calling it is to catch and kill marine creatures – are all heard saying “Bye!” (with the gentleness of fathers dropping their kids off at kindergarten), with one man remarking on how “happy” the giant fish had become.
Netizens around the world have fallen hook, line and sinker for the video, with many hailing the fishermen for getting on ‘swimmingly’ with the liberated whale shark.