Megachasma pelagios

The Megamouth Shark

Date:
15th November 1976

Location:
Approx. 25 miles off the coast Oahu, Hawaii
Mission:
A U.S. Navy Ship has orders to search and recover
lost "Dummy" Torpedoes.
Result:
The most exciting Shark discovery

As the Chute like drift anchor was being towed, suddenly something huge caused it to drag down. On reeling it up back to the ship, the crew are amazed to find a huge fish, entangled in a deep-water net.

With a mouth measuring 1 metre wide at the tip of a 4.5 metres long brownish coloured flabby body, it was soon released that nobody had ever seen this species before!!

It took about 7 years before this species was identified and named as Megachasma pelagios, or as it is better known,
The Megamouth Shark.

Megamouth. Shark

The First
Megamouth Shark, (
Megachasma pelagios)
Discovered in Hawaii on Nov. 15th. 1976

 

Eight years after the original discovery, a second Male specimen was brought up dead, in a fishing net off the coast of California.

Until today 65 Megamouth sharks have been discovered.

No:
DATE:
LOCATION:
SEX:
SIZE:
PHOTO:
REMARKS:
1
15 Nov 76
Oahu, Hawaii
M
446cm
The first Megamouth discovered in Hawaii in 1976

Dead.
Bernice P. Bishop Museum Honolulu, Hawaii

2
29 Nov 84
Catalina Island, California,
USA
M
449cm
Megamouth # 2
Dead
Los Angeles County Museum
3
18 Aug 88
Mandurah,
Australia
M
515cm
Meg 3 from Australia
Dead
Western Australia Museum
4
23 Jan 89
Hamamatsu City,
Japan
M
400+cm
Megamouth 4
Dead
5
Jun 89
Suruga Bay,
Japan
F?
490cm
?
Released Alive
6
21 Oct 90
Dana Point, California,
USA
M
494cm
Megamouth 6 was released.... see below for story.

Released alive
and Tracked
Video

7
29 Nov 94
Hakata Bay,
Japan
F
471cm
Megamouth 7 preserved at Fukuoma ´s Marine World.
Dead
Marine World Fukuoka, Japan
8
4 May 95
Dakar, Senegal
M
180cm
?
Discarded
9
18 Sept 95
Southern Brazil
M
190cm
Meg 9 from Brazil
Dead
Instituto de Pesca, São Paulo, Brazil
10
30 Apr 97
Owase City,
Mikisaki, Mie
Japan
F
544cm
Megamouth 10
Preserved at Toba Aquarium
11
20 Feb 98
Cagayan de Oro, Macajalar Bay,
Philippines
M
549cm
Megamouth 11 before ending up at the market.
Consumed
12
23 Apr 98
Mihama-cho,
Atawa, Mie,
Japan
F
549cm
?
Discarded
13
30 Aug 98
Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia
F
ca.
500cm
Megamouth 13 swimming away
Sighted being attacked by Orcas and Swam Away
14
1 Oct 99
W of San Diego, California,
USA
F
518cm
Megamouth 14 was releassed after it was accidentaly caught.
Released Alive
15
19 Oct 01
NW of San Diego, California,
USA
M
548cm
Megamouth 15 was caught n a net.
Released Alive
16
18 Jan 02
East Indian Ocean
M
235cm
Megamouth 16
Tuna purse seine, discarded
Dead
17
20 Apr 02

Natures Valley,
Plettenberg Bay,
South Africa

F
350cm
Megamouth 17 was found dead.
Washed Ashore
Dead.
Port Elisabeth Museum,
South Africa.
18
6 Jan 03
Cagayan de Oro, Macajalar Bay, Philippines
F
497cm
Megamouth 18 before it got cut up.
Consumed
19
26 May 03
Dana Point, California,
USA
?
610 - 760cm
?
Sighting
20
3 Jul 03
Hualien Province
Taiwan
M
ca 250cm
Megamouth 20
Consumed
21
7 Aug 03
Omaezaki, Sizuoka
Japan
M
430
Megamouth 21 from Japan
Found Dead and kept at
Tokai University

(more photos)
22
8 Mar 04
Ecuador / Peru
M
420cm
Megamouth 22 caught off  Peru
Consumed
23
13 Mar 04
Gapang Beach, Sumatra, Indonesia.
M
177cm
Close Up of Megamouth 23
Washed Ashore Dead.
LIPI Museum, Chibinong, Jakarta.
24
19 Apr 04
Tokyo Bay,
Ichihara City,
Japan
F
563cm
Megamouth 24 preserved at  the museum
Washed Ashore
Dead
25
23 Apr 04
Ajiro, Shizuoka,
Japan
F
ca. 490cm
Megamouth 25
Discarded
26
04 Nov 04
Namocon Beach, Tigbauan, Iloilo Philippines
F
504cm
Megamouth 26 being carried away.
Stranded on beach and Died later. Now at SEAFDEC Museum.
27
23 Jan 05

Kisei cho Nishiki, Mie,
Japan

F
528cm
Meg 27
Captured with a purse seine
28
30 Jan 05
Barangay Agusan,
Macajalar Bay
Cagayan de Oro,
Phillippines
F
417cm
Megamouth 28 after the fins had been cut off.
Died after being Captured in net.
29
25 Apr 05
Hualien, Eastern Taiwan
?
?
?

First of 4 specimens cought within 10 days in the same region. 630 kilos. Was consumed

30
2 May 05
Hualien, Eastern Taiwan
?
?
?

Second of 4.
680 kilos. Was comsumed.

31
4 May 05
Hualien, Eastern Taiwan
F
487cm
Megamouth 31

Third of 4.
Dead. Weighted 689 kilos. Believed to be pregnant.

Taken to Taipei Zoo/Academia Sinica.

32
5 May 05
Hualien, Eastern Taiwan
F
483cm
Megamouth 32

Fourth of 4.
Dead. Believed to weight 807 kilos. and more likely to be pregnant than meg 31!!

Taken to Taipei Zoo/Academia Sinica.

33