On the night of the 3rd of November the Carpe Vita liveaboard was anchored at a place in Thaa atoll where often whale sharks come and feed at the back of the boat on plankton attracted by the bright lights. Whale shark “Kessum”, logged in the database of the whale shark research team under WS113 appeared at the back of the boat with a huge fishing hook and piece of rope attached to it stuck in the side of his mouth. Kessum was last seen in Thaa atoll as well in April 2016. In this amazing footage you see a guest cutting the rope of the hook in two attempts followed by one of our dive team members pulling the hook out at the third attempt after two failed attempts.
The size of the hook is usually not used in the Maldives leaving us to believe that it was most probably used by a foreign fishing boat. Question is of course if they are fishing illegally in Maldives waters where the whale sharks are protected or that Kessum got in trouble somewhere else. Whale sharks are known to travel quite some distance.
This is not the first time our team members were able to rescue an animal in need of fishing hooks or other trash left behind. See also our other stories under Maldives conservation and protection.