Megamouth Shark #15 Caught off California
October 19, 2001
Observer Program Coordinator
National Marine Fisheries Service, Southwest Region
On October 19, 2001, another Megamouth shark (male, approx. 18 ft. fork
length) was caught in a drift gillnet and released alive in good
condition. A U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service observer was aboard
the commercial swordfish vessel, approx. 42 miles northwest of San
Diego, California. The observer was able to collect a tissue biopsy and
take many color photographs including one of the upper jaw with white
lip and lower jaw with dark spots on a white chin. The observer also
noted the presence of claspers. Water depth at this location is 460 fms.
and the sea surface temperature was 65.8 F. This is the fourth (November
1984, October 1990, October 1999) Megamouth shark caught off Southern
California in a drift gillnet targeting swordfish.