Rare megamouth shark washes ashore in Albay
MANILA, Philippines – A megamouth shark washed ashore in Albay on Wednesday, January 28, a rare sighting of the usually deep ocean-dwelling animal.
The shark, with the scientific name Megachasma pelagios, washed ashore in Barangay Marigondon, Pio Duran, Albay, the Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines posted on its page on Facebook.
This is only the 60th confirmed sighting of the shark, said Christopher Bird of the research blog Shark Devocean.
The shark measured 15 feet long, and was identified with the help of officials from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources' Regional Emergency Stranding Response Team.
No cause of death has been determined yet, the BFAR said.
Megamouth sharks are characterized by their wide, gaping mouths with rubbery lips, used to filter plankton and jellyfish on which they subsist on.
Most specimens have been found in Japan, Taiwan, and the Philippines, although sightings have been reported in places such as California, Hawaii, and Senegal.
The dead shark is currently stored in ice by the BFAR regional office as it awaits further examination by veterinarians.
The BFAR is now planning to preserve the specimen – the third in the Philippines, if ever, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported. – Rappler.com