Commercial fishermen fortunately caught 6.5 metre rare basking shark, which would have fetch them a big amount of money but decided to donate it to the Melbourne Museum scientist.
The fishermen said they decided to donate the second biggest living species of fish to the scientists because they know very little about the elusive basking sharks.
“Basking shark fins would be highly sought because they’re very big,” Dr Gomon told news.com.au after the whopping catch was made off the coast of Portland, in Victoria’s southwest, on Sunday.
“This basking shark’s pectoral fins were probably over a metre in length and 60cm or more wide, and there were two of those. Its cuttle fin probably spans 1 metre to 1.2 metres. There are other fins, too: the pelvic fins.
“I’ve got a high regard for the skipper in his initiative in contacting the museum.
“Obviously, he saw that it was far more valuable as a museum specimen than anything he could have made some money off of, and that’s his likelihood. Fish is how he makes his living.
“Those fisherman were as much interested in conservation, I think, as the normal person in the street, if not more so.”
“We would rather see something in the ocean, everyone would rather see it in the ocean, but this way it is preserved so that we and future generations can learn more about them.”
“One shark’s probably not going to tell us everything about what’s going on down there, but the more information we have from specimens, the bigger picture we can build up about their life history and what they’re doing.”