A Chinese fisherman has caught a protected whale shark weighing more than two tonnes in his net.
The massive fish was caught off the coast of the Fujian province and was photographed being wheeled down the street draped across the top of a cart.
According to local media reports the whale shark was five metres long and weighed over two tonnes.
In 2012, a study by Murdoch University and Shandong University found whale sharks were increasingly being targeted by Chinese fishermen due to a high demand for shark fins.
Talking about the study, Murdoch Centre for Fish, Fisheries and Aquatic Ecosystems Research scientist Brad Norman said there was no targeted whale shark fishery in China but high prices for shark fins could change that.
“While whale sharks are covered by law in China as a second-class national protected animal, catches are generally unmonitored and trade is uncontrolled, similar to other shark species.”
Whale sharks are a protected species in Australia and are a popular tourist attraction at Ningaloo Reef off the West Australian coast.