Rare megamouth shark caught by fishermen in Japan

Huge shark was sold to a fishmonger

megamouth shark caught in Japan

An extremely rare deep water shark has been caught by fishermen off the coast of Central Japan.

The five-metre megamouth shark was caught in fishing nets on Friday, just five kilometres from Owase Port in Mie Prefecture.

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Yahoo! reports that a Japanese fish monger bought the shark which weighed around a tonne.

The megamouth shark has a distinctive appearance, swimming with its enormous mouth wide open while filtering water for plankton and jellyfish. Its features include a large head with rubbery lips.

It is so unlike any other type of shark that it is classified in its own family, Megachasmidae, though it has been suggested that it may belong in the family Cetorhinidae of which the basking shark is currently the sole member.

Last year, a megamouth shark washed up on a beach in the Philippines.

The 15ft shark was found by the residents of Barangay Marigondon in Pio Duran, between the Albay and Masbate provinces of central Philippines.

It was already dead when it was discovered and was put on ice while awaiting a necropsy.

Nonie Enolva, at the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-Regional Emergency Stranding Response Team said that the shark had wounds and its tail was missing.

The cause of the shark's death is unknown, but Nonie said it's thought it was either trapped in a fishing net or ate poisonous organisms.

A year earlier, a megamouth shark went on display after being caught off the coast of Japan.

Over 1,500 people flocked to watch staff dissect the creature at the Marine Science Museum in Shizuoka City.

It was caught in waters off Shizuoka at a depth of 2,600ft, and was only the 58th megamouth ever to have been caught or sighted by humans.

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