Philippines: Necropsy done on Megamouth Shark caught in Albay seas is a rare event – doctors
By Nancy Ibo Mediavillo, 14th February 2015;
The necropsy or autopsy done on the dead huge Megamouth Shark (Megachasma pelagios) in the Albay Park and Wildlife by foreign veterinarians on Wednesday was a very rare event not only in the Philippines but also in the entire world – foreign and local doctors said.
The 15-footer male Megamouth Shark named “Toothless” was fished out in Burias Pass by Albay fishermen earlier and is the 66th Megamouth Shark found worldwide and the 15th in the country.
Dr. Aa Yaptinchay, Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines director, said necropsy is a process of finding out the reason for the death of the shark and what they did was a rare move.
Lending hand to his group are foreign veterinarians headed by Dr. Alessandro Ponzo from the Large Marine Vertebrates, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-Bicol, and Dr. Florencio Adonay, officer-in-charge of the Provincial Veterinary Office of Albay and Provincial Government Environment and Natural Resources Office headed by Arnold Embestro.
Adornay shared Yaptinchay’s remark on the event.
He said the necropsy done by the foreign veterinarians lasted up to 9:00 p.m. Wednesday.
Yaptinchay said the documentation process on the shark is important because of the big role of the Philippines in the World Wildlife Marine Biodiversity.
This is in accordance with the National Plan of Action of the government being implemented by the BFAR.
It is estimated that there are 500 species of the sea mammal in the world, of which 200 are in the Philippines. (What on Earth is this sentence trying to say?)
Yaptinchay said that of the 66 Megamouth Sharks recorded throughout the world, 18 were found in Japan, 15 in the Philippines and there were also records in the United States.
Of these 15 found in the country, two appeared in Bicol – one in Donsol, Sorsogon, and the last one in Albay.
The Megamouth Shark is the rarest species in the world, weighing one ton with a life span of 100 years.
This male shark is at least 2.1 meters wide and with an estimated weight of 1,000 kilos, bigger than what has been recovered in Cagayan de Oro, which weighed 500 kilograms and was 18 feet long.
The foreign doctors lauded the Provincial Government of Albay under Governor Joey Sarte Salceda for its initiative in preserving the shark.
Today, the shark will be placed in an aquarium in the Albay Parks and Wildlife.
It will then be open for public viewing.
Adonay said the series of embalming of the shark will continue for it to last for 20 years inside the aquarium.
He said many media practitioners were around to cover the event, including a team from the Discovery Channel, an American global mass media and entertainment company based in Silver Springs, Maryland, which had earlier shown interest to film and witness the necropsy and preservation process of the deep-water shark.