Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Megamouth Caught - Not Eaten

A few months ago we reported a rare megamouth (41) caught and eaten by locals.

Todays news is a bit better:

Taipei, June 9 (CNA) A megamouth shark, one of the world's rarest species, was caught Monday by a fisherman from the eastern county of Taitung, marine biologists said Tuesday. According to National Taiwan Ocean University's Department of Environmental Biology and Fisheries Science, the shark is only the 42nd that has been caught or sighted worldwide and the ninth in Taiwan since the species was discovered in 1976.

The shark was 3.9 meter long, weighed 350 kilograms and its mouth when opened measured 75 centimeters across. It was netted off the county's Chenggong coast and was sold Tuesday for NT$18,000 (US$549) to a local shark museum where it will be displayed as a preserved specimen.

The fish was identified by a researcher surnamed Tien, from the Eastern Marine Biology Research Center under the Council of Agriculture's Fisheries Research Institute. Tien said the species is very unusual and that it was the first time in his career that he ever saw a megamouth shark.

Chen Wen-jung, the owner of the shark museum, said he has collected dozens of shark specimens but this was his first megamouth.

The last record of the species being spotted was in late March, when a 500-kilogram, 4-meter megamouth was caught off Burias Island in the Philippines.

The megamouth shark is so named because of its large mouth.

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