Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Rare megamouth shark caught

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Oliver Teves in his article "Rare megamouth shark caught, eaten in
Philippines" goes on to tell us that the megamouth shark is one of the
rarest fishes in the world. In fact, this megamouth shark was just the
41st documented capture. Only 40 others had been reported in such
areas as Japan, California, Taiwan, Indonesia, Brazil, South Africa
and Mexico as well as other places.

As Teves goes on to report, the megamouth shark died while struggling
in the fishermen's net. It weighed 1,100 pounds and was 13 feet long.

The project manager of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Elson Aca, took
pictures and further tried to dissuade the fishermen from eating the
rare beast to no avail.

I can understand that. Apparently the megamouth shark is the main
ingredient in a delicacy that I'm guessing these guys don't get to eat
too often. It would be like someone wanting to study a thousand-dollar
bill I had just found; yeah take a picture but I'm going to "eat" it.

Believe it or not the megamouth shark is only 33-years-old with
respect to our knowledge of its existence. That was when it was first
discovered and it was so completely new that scientists started a new
family and genus.

The shark was found in 660 feet of water 185 miles from Manila. It is
a "filter-feeder." Filter-feeders" are fish that take food out of the
water by passing it through their mouth.

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This is very important in a
ecosystem because it helps keep the water pure.

There are other filter-feeders in the area where the megamouth was
found. One is the world's largest fish the whale shark.

The existence of these animals suggests that the water is in good
shape and the area should continue to be guarded.

I have linked to the picture of a megamouth shark.

I used to have a tropical fish aquarium. There was a terrible problem
with algae. I had a friend who had me add a catfish as a bottom-feeder
and snails and shrimp as filter-feeders. The water became much

Still, the fish all died.