Last week, we wrote to supporters about the Geelong Star’s interaction with a whale shark.
Last week, we wrote to supporters about the Geelong Star’s interaction with a whale shark and said:
"Firstly, the government told us that the whale sharks fins were caught in the net and it freed itself and simply swam away. Next minute, the story changed. We hear the ship operators dragged it on board and struggled for four minutes to free it, before using a crane to drop it back into the water. We still don’t know if it was released dead or alive."
AFMA have asked us to correct the record, because their statement several days after the event said: "The whale shark was subsequently freed from the net and swam away without difficulty."
Statements made on the Small Pelagic Fisheries Industry Association Facebook page several days earlier said that the whale shark "had come alongside the net, the vessel manoeuvred away and the whale shark had swum off unharmed". Whilst AFMA’s very limited statement on 19 February 2016 contradicted that, it provided no details.
So, we're correcting the record.
AFMA did admit that the crew had to free the whale shark.
But it was another five days after that initial before AFMA clarified that this required the whale shark to be hauled on deck, worked at for four minutes, then the massive protected species was craned back into the water.
We still don't know if it survived, because AFMA still haven't released the footage - which would be the simplest and quickest way to clear this whole mess up.