Megamouth Shark #18 Caught for Second Time in Philippine Waters
January 6, 2003
Sources of Information:
Edward B. Yasay
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources - 10
On the morning of January 6, 2003, a call was received by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Regional Office No. 10 informing them of an unusual looking fish caught in the waters of Tablon, Cagayan de Oro City (also along Macajalar Bay and West of Puerto). DENR then relayed the message to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources - 10 (BFAR 10) Regional Director Arlene B. Pantanosas, who immediately sent BFAR 10 personnel to the area to investigate.
According to Mr. Eldiposo Pabaida, the fisherman, who caught the shark, he went fishing at about 5:30 in the morning and about an hour and a half after, at about 120 fathoms deep, when he was hauling his net (bottom set gill net), he noticed that something heavy was on it. Realizing that he could not haul the net on board alone, he called the attention of nearby fishermen and they brought it ashore.
The fishermen had thought it was just a big fish, but when they closely examined it, as they were not familiar with the species.
The fish was already dead when BFAR 10 personnel arrived in the area. Because of the presence of the gill slits and the asymmetrical caudal fin, they could only guess that it was a shark and a rare one. Pictures were taken for documentation. The fish was approximately 4.97 m in length (from the tip of the mouth to the tip of the tail). It was later consumed by the nearby residents.
The shark was measured for total length and breadth. It measured approximately 4.97 m in length and had a body breadth of 1.01 m. Pictures were only taken for identification, since the species was not common to them. This has been the second recorded sighting of the shark in the Philippines and the 18th worldwide.
Photos of 18th Megamouth Sighting in the Philippines, January 6, 2003