Rare Megamouth shark caught by Japanese fishermen

Image by FLMNH Ichtyology/ CC-BY-SA-4.0
  • Japanese fishermen caught an extremely rare Megamouth shark that was trapped in fishing nets around five kilometers from Owase Port in Mie Prefecture
  • The shark weighed around a ton (907 kilograms) and was estimated to be around five meters (16.4 feet) in length
  • The rare shark was reportedly bought by a local fishmonger in Owase Port

OWASE, Japan – Japanese fishermen were left terrified after finding a massive and rare Megamouth shark.

Yahoo News mentioned in an article published on April 16 said that the extremely rare creature was caught in fishing nets around five kilometers from Owase Port in Mie Prefecture, an area located in the southern-central region of Japan’s main island.

The shark weighs around a ton (907 kilograms) and was estimated to be around five meters (16.4 feet) in length. It was reportedly bought by a local fishmonger.

The megamouth shark, scientific name Megachasma pelagios, is an extremely rare species of deepwater shark, and the smallest of the three extantplanktivorous sharks, besides the whale shark and basking shark.

Like the other filter-feeders, Megamouth shark swims with its enormous mouth wide open, filtering water for plankton and jellyfish.

An article by Mark Molloy for The Telegraph published on April 16 said that the megamouth shark was first discovered in 1976, and only a few megamouth sharks have been seen, with 60 specimens known to have been caught or sighted as of January 2015.

A paper on the species in 1983 said the shark was named “Megamouth shark” in reference to its unusually large oral cavity.

“This common name has since been adopted by several authors, and we suggest that it be considered as the accepted common name for the species,” the paper said.

The rare shark was also found inshore in the Philippines last year.

Sarah Carty mentioned in her article for Mail Online published on February 6 last year that fishermen in the Philippines had discovered a rare megamouth shark trapped in a net at a beach.

The massive 15-foot adult male shark was dead when it was found beached on the Barangay Marigondon shores in between the Albay and Masbate provinces. The extraordinary shark has been named toothless by locals probably in reference to a character in the famous movie “How to Train Your Dragon”.

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