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Megamouth

Megamouth Shark #20

July 3, 2003
Hualien Province, Taiwan
megamouth


Translation of Japanese article by Victor Lin, courtesy of Henry Mollet
July 4, 2004
Permission granted from Henry Mollet


Hualien Province fisherman, Li, caught a weird fish that looks like a shark at Ki-Lei-Bi sea yesterday; and even the local fishery department officer cannot tell what fish it is. According to Li, who has been fishing for over 40 years, he has never seen a fish like this. Other fisherman also think it is weird. An owner of a seafood restaurant near the dock has bought the fish, and this weird fish ha become a talking topic among fisherman.

According to Lin, he and his son took their fishing boat to 800 m off Ki-Lei-Bi coast at 5 am last morning, to retract the net they had set a day earlier. When they grabbed the net, the weird fish showed up surprisingly. After they took the weird fish back to the dock, those who saw the fish were all astonished.

The fish is about 2.5 m long and weighed 490 kg. Its appearance is very similar to a shark, but it has lips on both jaws. The mouth can open wide and the teeth are tiny and set close together. And these characters are not like those of sharks. Nobody can tell what fish it is. Some fisherman say its mouth looks like a lion, so letıs call it a Lion Shark; some say it has lips so thick and called it an Elephant Shark/

Li, who is 66 years old, says he has never seen such a weird fish after fishing over 40 years.

Chen, who owns a seafood restaurant near by and is now 70+ years old, said he had seen one at Southern Bay Dock about 40-50 years ago and nobody knew which fish it was then. He never expected that he would see it again after all these years in Hualien. However, the identity of the fish still remains unknown.

The fish was finally bought by the seafood store. After gutting, they found the stomach of the fish empty and concluded that this fish mainly fed on tiny fish. It saw some fish stuck in the net and wanted to have a meal and then got caught itself.