(WARNING: The video footage contains graphic content. Please be advised.)
A video taken in China has been posted online, showing fishermen butchering a whale shark. They saw the defenseless animal in half as it struggles to breathe.
— AnimalAbusers (@AnimalAbusers) August 5, 2015
The video was seemingly filmed with a cellular phone, showing two men using a large crosscut saw to butcher the shark.
Approximately 20 people, including young children, watched the shark get butchered. One of them stated: “This is too cruel,” according to the Independent.
An investigation last year revealed that a factory in southeastern China was cutting up 600 of the large fish every year.
A single whale shark carcass is worth about $30,000, with the meat being sold for food, and the fins are used in shark fin soup.
The video triggered condemnation from animal rights activists and shark conservationists, as whale sharks are considered a vulnerable species.
— Taiwanese Animators (@NMAtv) August 7, 2015
Ali Hood, Director of Conservation at The Shark Trust, wrote in a statement that the video “of a Whale Shark being butchered whilst apparently still alive has appalled Shark Trust supporters.
“To see such a magnificent, placid animal treated with such little dignity demonstrates to the Shark Trust how vital it is to continue to raise awareness as to the importance of sharks and their relatives to a healthy, balanced marine environment.”
The graphic footage of the shark being butchered can be seen below: