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Animal CrueltyAnimalsEndangered Species

World's Rarest Shark Caught, Then Eaten

 

Fishermen in the Philippines accidentally caught and later ate one of the rarest sharks in the world – the megamouth shark.

Only 40 others have been encountered, the World Wildlife Fund said Tuesday. The 1,100-pound, 13-foot megamouth died while struggling in the fishermen’s net on March 30 off Burias island in the central Philippines.

Okay, fishing nets kinda suck!

It was taken to nearby Donsol where it was butchered and eaten, said Gregg Yan, a spokesman for WWF-Philippines. The WWF tried to dissuade the fishermen from eating it, but shark meat is the main ingredient in a local delicacy.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/v/mR0QT1Ek0MI&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1]

The first megamouth was discovered in Hawaii in 1976, prompting scientists to create an entirely new family and genus of sharks. The megamouths are docile filter-feeders with wide, blubbery mouths. Yan said the fish was tagged “Megamouth 41” — the 41st megamouth recorded in the world — by the Florida Museum of Natural History. It was the eighth reported encountered in Philippine seas.

The presence of two of the world’s three filter-feeding sharks along with manta rays and dolphins indicates that the region’s marine ecosystem is still relatively healthy and should continue to be protected. Yan urged fishermen who encounter the rare shark to immediately report it to authorities or the WWF.

Others megamouths have been encountered in California, Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, Brazil, Ecuador, Senegal, South Africa, Mexico, and Australia.

Source: AP




12 comments
  1. CJonB

    I’m a little surprised to find this under Animal Cruelty.

    I personally can’t speak to the matter of the Megamouth taken in 2009 as noted above. However, I feel I can speak with some authority on MM17 — that’s the one you have the picture of at the top of this article.

    This fish was accidentally netted in Fall of 1990, off Dana Point, California. What had happened was a local, legal, heavily regulated bill fisherman was legally augmenting his income with one small drift net. After 24 hours — a very short soak time — he returned to his net, only to find it destroyed and wrapped around this giant *creature*. The fisherman was very vocal about wishing this whole mess had never happened to him.

    He towed the fish into port, got on the phone, and called nearly every agency in the world that might want to preserve this animal. And he came up short. Unlike predacious carnivores, filter feeders require a HUGE amount of space. And to this date, there has never been an environment large enough to suppor this fish. More, phylum Chondrichthes doesn’t have internal bones — cartilege instead — and so transporting the animal out of water safely is impossible. They just can’t stand the shock.

    So, the fisherman found he was in something of a mess. He had lost a net, had to shepherd this fish at the dock (and thus lose days of fishing), was losing money and time hand over fish, and no end in sight. His calls, however, saved the animal. Roughly 8 or 9 teams of biologists descended on Dana Point within 3 days, and plans were made to revive the animal (they don’t breathe well unless free swimming), and return it to the wild.

    The shark was towed about a mile out, divers (including myself) went in and checked the animal to see it wasn’t fouled. Samples were taken and transmitters placed, and the last I saw of MM17, he (she?) was swimming down out of visual range. We tracked the animal via telemetry for a couple of days until the batteries in the transmitters gave out.

    This story raises a few points for me. The primary one is that this animal isn’t rare because it’s over-fished. It’s rare because it lives where humans don’t travel. There may well be a zillion of these creatures, but as they’re pelagic, live deep, and ascend only at night, they’re — to us — rare.

    They’re not harvested for that same reason.

    They typically aren’t clearly identified. MM17 was the only one at the time observed in situ, and only the second seen alive.

    While we as a species do at times reduce the count on other species, it’s fair to say this is the exception and not the rule. We aren’t altogether bloodthirsty. And, to be fair, you have to ask yourself, would you be happy losing a quick $7,000 US or so (as did the Dana Point fisherman) in order to preserve this one animal’s life for a few days?

  2. Roger

    Maybe the religious right is the problem. We are talking about poor people who have been convinced that having lots of children is a good idea by the Catholic Church and as a result everything is on the menue. Soon we will kill and eat everything else or die trying right. Being remorseful is a waste of time to the true believer. God says be fruitful and multiply right or maybe when he realized he had made a mistake that is when God ceated the monkey. Ya! Long live planet of the apes!!

  3. Paul

    Here once more is a post concerning something completely irrelevant to the survival of mankind but actually an attempt by some self-appointed authority to infringe on the liberties of other individuals doing whatever it takes to survive in this irrational world of bankers and politicians.Why don’t you attempt to do something productive with your life and watch how your
    self esteem soars into the stratosphere.

    Everyone reading these posts should join the Campaign For Liberty and do something really worthwhile to save our planet and our liberties.

  4. Me

    Yes, lets all sit back here, with our high speed internet connection and discarded mountain dew cans, and wag our fingers at people on the other side of the planet who can barely make ends meet for eating what hey found in their fishing nets.

    You can always count on the people whose bellies are full to tell other what they can and can’t do to get by.

  5. Uncle B

    Humans can eat sharks? The sharks haven’t got a chance in Hell of surviving! Got any good BBQ recipes? I’d like to try something new and less offensive to global warming than beef on my BBQ! Maybe the shark is the new “Cow”! Create less CO2, eat a shark! Great stuff, this article has brought out. Does shark meat contain Omega 3 oils? lets go get ’em! How much antibiotics and hormones are needed to feed a shark? Could they be a safer food than Beef? a better food than Beef? and if prepared by the best chefs we have, a tastier food than beef? They certainly do not shittty up our rivers and lakes like beef does, they don’t smell like Hell in feedlots, don’t chew up our corn crops, and don’t clog our veins with cholesterol! We need shark recipes post-haste!

  6. anonymous

    Are you guys serious. these poor fishermen found a way to feed their families for quite some time, and you are sad about a fish. You seriously need to stop trying to save wildlife when humanity in the third world are in need of help.

  7. jou

    By the way, there needs to be some real legal actions to protect these sharks. I hope these fishermen are remorseful for their actions

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