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Megamouth

Megamouth Shark #15 Caught off California

October 19, 2001
Don Petersen
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.

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