Preparing for Megamouth Shark “Toothless” (Megachasma pelagios) Necropsy.

Ongoing: Rare Megamouth Shark Necropsy at Albay Park and Wildlife

Source: Rome Candaza Facebook [1], [2]

Philippines: PHL, foreign vets to conduct necropsy on Megamouth Shark
By Michael B. Jaucian, 11th February 2015;

Several veterinarians from Philippines and other countries will conduct a necropsy on a Megamouth Shark (Megachasma pelagios) at Albay Parks and Wildlife, February 11. The rare mammal was accidentally caught in a fisherman net in Barangay Marigondon, Pioduran Albay. Governor Joey Salceda said, the shark will be preserved in a huge aquarium for further research in the future.

Source: GMA News Online

Why does the Philippines news media seem to have a bad habit of calling large filter-feeding sharks “mammals”?

Say cheese!

Toothless will be the next star of GMA 7 “Born to be Wild” and Discovery Channel.

This rare Megamouth Shark (Megachasma pelagios) was found dead near the shore of Pio Duran, Albay last month, and was hauled off to the Cryogenic facility in Camaligan fish port complex.

Source: Rome Candaza Facebook

The Megamouth Shark Toothless arrives from deep freeze in a truck to the examination site in Legazpi City.

Source: Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines Facebook

The necropsy team and their #MegamouthSmiles with Toothless until he thaws out for tomorrow’s examination.

Source: Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines Facebook

Toothless the Megamouth Shark from Albay prepared for examination today.

Source: Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines Facebook


The extremely rare Megamouth Shark (Megachasma pelagios) #66 found in Marigondon, Pioduran Albay will finally be examined by a pool of veterinarian experts to be led by Dr. Aa Yaptinchay of the NGO Marine Wildlife Watch of the Phillipines together with Dr. Alessandro Ponzo, an Italian veterinarian and researcher of the Large Marine Vertebrate (LAMAVE) Project, GMA 7’s Born to be Wild host veterinarian Dr. Ferds Reccio, Dr. Evelyn Saberon of BFAR 5 and the Albay Province experienced veterinarians on February 11, 2015 in Albay Parks and Wildlife Center, Legaspi City. The necropsy will give us the information of how the animal died and will provide evidence of direct human impact on these marine animals in the wild. The necropsy is also an opportunity to collect tissue samples, photographs, pathogens and morphometrics needed for scientific purposes. The University of Louvain in Belgium, LAMAVE Project and other international research organizations are requesting samples for their on-going research on these Megamouth Sharks.

The journey of ‘Toothless’, as we named it, from Catandulan Point near Donsol, where it was accidentally entangled in a net and believed to have died prior to being caught, to the Cullat, Daraga Ice Plant and temporarily kept fresh then to the PFDA’s Camaligan Fishport Complex to be kept in cryogenic state and now in Albay Parks and Wildlife Center for the necropsy procedures has given us time to think of the state of the Bicol Waters. Considering that we have these planktivorous megafauna along with the Whale Sharks (Rhincodon typus) and Manta Rays (Manta spp.) especially in Burias-Ticao Pass makes us conclude that the fishing ground is very important in the biological diversity of the region.

Burias-Ticao Pass is considered a very productive fishing ground and home to a rich assemblage of some important apex species like sharks, rays, dolphins and whales but ironically is heavily exploited and an identified area of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUUF) not to mention the old practice of butchering and eating protected fish species by the local folks. With these threats, BFAR Regional Director Dennis V. del Socorro is determined in curbing illegal fishing practices in the Bicol waters. He added the need to enforce stricter fishery laws and regulations thru regular sea patrolling, monitoring, control and surveillance. “As Chairperson of the Sub-Committee on Fishing and Marine Environment Protection of the RLECC, along with other 20-member national government agencies, we are determined to enhance our strategies to address these challenges. The BFAR Central Office thru our National Director Atty. Asis G. Perez prioritizes stricter enforcement of fishery laws by allocating funds for the logistics, procurement of patrol boats and other floating assets and by continuously implementing capability-building programs for fishery law enforcers in the entire country.”

The Samahan ng mga Mangingisda ng Rehiyon at Lokal (SAMARAL), Inc., the regional alliance of fisherfolk organizations of the Bicol Region will also be making steps on how the fisherfolk sector can help the government in this campaign. This strong government-private sector partnership together with the FARMCs could hopefully help address these fisheries issues.

The Provincial Government of Albay thru the strong leadership of Governor Joey S. Salceda plans to display the remains of ‘Toothless’ in a specialized aquarium inside the Albay Parks and Wildlife Center to help convey to the public the importance of these species in the marine ecosystem and as a proof of how diverse our fisheries resources in the entire region are.

Further, the Discovery Channel will be filming the entire necropsy process. This is a good avenue for information dissemination on the protection and conservation of these megafauna not only to the Philippines but also in the entire world. The necropsy of ‘Toothless’ is pivotal for the scientific community worldwide especially in terms of shark management, conservation and protection, and – probably could help us understand and uncover some of the Megamouth Shark’s mysteries.

Chief, Marine Fisheries Resource Management Section/Regional Information Officer
Team Leader, BFAR 5- Fisheries Regional Emergency Stranding Response Team

Source: Nonus Evolvus Facebook

The Megamouth Shark, weighing about a ton, was found dead on the shore of Barangay Marigondon in Pio Duran town in Albay. MARK ALVIC ESPLANA/INQUIRER SOUTHERN LUZON

Philippines: Rare shark found dead on Albay town shore

By Ma. April Mier, 1st February 2015;

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) gave the name “Toothless” to the 15-foot Megamouth Shark (Megachasma pelagios) that was found dead on the shore of Barangay Marigondon in Pio Duran town in Albay province on Wednesday.

Toothless, now stored in an ice plant, would be preserved and later displayed at the Albay Park and Wildlife in this city, according to Nonie Enolva, head of the BFAR-Regional Emergency Stranding Response Team in Bicol.

Enolva said the shark was named after a character in “Gift of the Night Fury,” a computer-animated short film by DreamWorks Animation released in 2011.

“That male shark really looks like Toothless. (By giving it a) name, we can identify it, especially when incorporating it to the record of BFAR,” she said.

Enolva said the necropsy of the rare species would be undertaken by an expert who was expected to arrive from the United States sometime next week.

Enolva earlier said BFAR planned to preserve the shark through taxidermy, the process of removing all organs of the specimen, soaking its skin in formalin and stuffing it for museum display.

She said BFAR officials are waiting for the completion of a specialized aquarium where Toothless would be displayed.

The male shark is at least 2.1- meters wide and with an estimated weight of 1,000 kilogram, bigger than what had been recovered in Cagayan de Oro City which weighed 500 kg and was shorter, she said.

Enolva confirmed that Discovery Channel, a global mass media and entertainment company based in Silver Spring, Maryland, has shown interest in filming the necropsy and preservation process on the deep water shark.

BFAR authorities are still trying to find out how the shark ended up in the waters off Pio Duran, although Enolva said it was possible that it might have gotten entangled with a fishing net. The shark was found with wounds and its tail was missing.

Source: Inquirer Southern Luzon

Isn’t it more accurate to say that the name “Toothless” is based on the How To Train Your Dragon franchise in general, rather than a specific, somewhat more obscure direct to video release?

Rare Megamouth Shark dies in Albay shore
By Joel Locsin, 30th January 2015;

A 15-foot Megamouth Shark (Megachasma pelagios) died at the shore of a town in Albay province on Wednesday.

The shark was believed to have died after it was trapped in a fishing net for several hours off Barangay Marigondon in Pio Duran town, GMA News stringer Michael Jaucian reported.

Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-Regional Emergency Stranding Response Team head Nonie Enolva said the Megamouth Shark is considered the 66th documented in the world and 15th in the Philippines.

The Megamouth Shark is also considered an endangered species.

Photos posted by GMA Bicol’s Maila Aycocho on Twitter showed the Megamouth Shark’s remains in ice.

Source: GMA News Online

A rare and unusual species of shark called the Megamouth Shark (Megachasma pelagios), a deepwater filter-feeding shark, was beached early Wednesday morning at Barangay Marigondon, Pioduran, Albay.

The shark is the 66th recorded specimen in the world, 15th in the Philippines and the 2nd in Bicol Region. It is a male shark that measures up to 4.6 meters in length and weighs approximately 1 ton.

Currently, the shark is now kept frozen in a storage room at an ice plant in Daraga, Albay awaiting necropsy procedures to be performed by the veterinarians from the Provincial Veterinary Services.

The Authorities plan to preserve the shark through Taxidermy and place it at Albay Parks and Wildlife in Legaspi City.

Source: BFAR Bikol Facebook

(This is Part 4 of a 4-part photo set)