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Whale shark dies at Jeju Aquarium; Second shark to be set free

By Leonard Ho - Posted Aug 28, 2012 09:00 AM
Aqua Planet Jeju at Seogwipo (South Korea) became Asia's largest aquarium when it opened its doors to the public on July 13, 2012. Their main display aquarium was set to feature two whale sharks, but tragically one of the two captured sharks suddenly died last week. Officials this week have decided to release the remaining whale shark back into the wild.
Whale shark dies at Jeju Aquarium; Second shark to be set free

Rendition of whale sharks at Aqua Planet Jeju.

In a clear attempt to replicate the success of Okinawa's popular whale shark tank, Aqua Planet had grand plans to stock their massive 23 x 8.5 meter (75 x 28 ft) main display aquarium with whale sharks, rays, and large schools of fish.

Unfortunately, things did not go according to plan when a 16 foot (4.9 meter) whale shark suddenly stopped feeding and died on August 19, 2012.

Aqua Planet states: "“We admit a lack of proper preparations [for sustaining whale sharks in captivity] and we regret causing concern among the people."  Under public pressure, aquarium officials have now decided to release the second whale shark back to the sea. Aquarium officials claim both CITES-protected whale sharks were unintentionally captured by fishermen nets.

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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