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

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