Photos from Kaye Junice Lala Mercado Facebook

Philippines: Rare Megamouth Shark surfaces in Cagayan De Oro waters
By Joel Locsin, 23rd March 2015;

A 12-foot-long specimen of the very rare Megamouth Shark (Megachasma pelagios) was found dead off Barangay Bayabas in Cagayan de Oro City last weekend.

The shark got tangled in the net of fisherman Jojo Cabatuan last Saturday, GMA Northern Mindanao reported Monday.

Kung iiwan naming sa dagat, mangangamoy lang din yan. Ngayon lang ako nakakita ng Megamouth Shark sa 38 years ko bilang mangingisda,” said Cabatuan.

Local residents buried the shark, as shown in a photo by GMA Northern Mindanao’s Kaye Mercado.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources said the Megamouth Shark is a deepwater-dwelling shark.

It said the shark found last Saturday measured 12 by 2 feet, and weighed about one ton.

BFAR experts theorized the shark may have been looking for food and got near the surface.

Meanwhile, some wounds were found on the shark’s body, which may have been caused by it getting tangled in the net.

Previous sighting off Albay

Last January, a Megamouth Shark measuring 15 feet died off Albay. Due to its rarity, the creature caused a sensation among locals and the scientific community alike.

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

The Megamouth Shark is one of the rarest sharks, discovered only in 1975 and with just a handful of documented sightings since then.

Source: GMA News Online

Megamouth Shark (Megachasma pelagios) Photos from Joey Salceda Facebook

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.

Source: Bicol Today

Photo by Cathy Elan

Megamouth 66 preliminary finding: Toothless was a healthy, 4.41 meter, mature male Megamouth Shark (Megachasma pelagios). His death was a consequence of being accidentally captured in a fishing net in the Burias Pass (Pio Duran, Albay) last 28 January.

The necropsy team was composed of veterinarians and assistants from Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines, Large Marine Vertebrate Project, Philippines, Born to Be Wild, Albay Provincial Veterinary Office, BFAR Region 5, Pili, CamSur, and the Park and Wildlife Center in Legazpi City. The members of the necropsy team were all exhausted after almost 12 hours of work last 11 February, but happy to have completed the task. CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL!

Source: Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines Facebook

Several veterinarians from Philippines and other countries prepare to conduct a necropsy on a Megamouth Shark at Albay Parks and Wildlife on February 11. The rare mammal was accidentally caught in a fisherman’s 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. Photo by Michael B. Jaucian

Philippines: Necropsy conducted on Megamouth Shark in Albay
By Joel Locsin, 12th February 2015;

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources this week conducted a necropsy on the Megamouth Shark (Megachasma pelagios) that died in Albay late last month.

BFAR officials said this aimed to determine what caused the shark’s death, GMA Bicol reported.

Veterinarians said the Megamouth Shark is worth studying as it is rare, and could contribute greatly to biodiversity research.

The Megamouth Shark was found at Barangay Marigondon in Pio Duran late last January. It is to be preserved at the Albay provincial government after the necropsy.

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

Megamouth Shark is also considered an endangered species.

Source: GMA News Online

Why does the Philippines news media keep referring to sharks as mammals?

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

‘TOOTHLESS’ GOES TO DISCOVERY CHANNEL:

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.

NONIE P. ENOLVA
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