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Chinese fisherman captures giant 14.5-foot-long whale shark

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There are catches you make on fishing trips that you can be proud of and tell a tale of how big a whopper it was, but those stories only last so long. One Chinese fisherman has a fish story that will last a century. Yahoo News reported on Aug. 4, 2014, that the fisherman was actually able to snag a 14.5-foot-long, 2-ton whale shark during a recent fishing trip and he drove it right through city streets.

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The extremely large catch is actually one that's causing a bit of a problem though. It was driven through the streets of Xiaozhi where the whale shark is an endangered species. It's also illegal to catch and sell it there as well.

Capt. Cai Chengzhu said that he did not intentionally capture the whale shark though, and says his catch was entirely an accident. He stated that the shark was caught in the fishing nets of his boat and as the crew tried to free it from them, the whale shark died.

“It's believed that the giant creature broke the net and got inside to eat the fish we caught," Chengzhu said, per the Shanghaiist.

The fishery department did indeed identify the creature as a whale shark, which is a second-class national protected animal. These rules and laws stated that any whale sharks caught by fishermen are to be set free immediately.

"It was really unfortunate and we did our best to free it," Capt. Chenzhu said. "But having caught it and because it was already dead, it seemed a shame to waste it."

He had the hopes of getting somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 yuan for the fish. That was before Fujian fishery officials stopped him and advised him of it being illegal to sell the whale shark.

That being said, there are a number of people, including many activists, that don't believe the captain's fish tale. They are skeptical that the whale shark's capture was an accident and are not happy with the fact that it happened.

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