By Raydes B. Barcia
Legazpi City —A 15-feet rare megamouth shark (Megachasma Pelagios) washed away in the coastal village of Bagacay in Gubat town, Sorsogon province on Saturday.
The lifeless megamouth shark was discovered at 10:00 AM by the local fishermen.
“Megamouth shark found beached in Bagacay, Gubat, Sorsogon today June 11, 2022,” Nonie Enolva, BFAR regional spokesperson said.
Enolva said that she is trying to contact somebody in Gubat town to know and verify the cause of death of the megamouth shark.
“We want to know and verify the cause of death of the megamouth shark. We want to preserve it either through taxidermy or submerge it through preservation solutions.
“It’s an adult size, about 15 feet. I presumed It might be entangled in the fish net. We want to preserve it for museum material. We want it for taxidermy or preserve it through formalin solution,” she said.
This is the third time that a megamouth shark washed up in Bicol, one in Pioduran town and two cases in Sorsogon specifically in the coastal towns of Gubat and Donsol.
In January 2015, a rare megamouth shark measuring 15-foot (4.5-meter) was trapped and fished out of Burias Pass by fishermen from Marigondon, Pio Duran town in Albay.
The megamouth shark is a very rare deep-water species and is the third biggest filter feeding shark in the world.
“The megamouth shark is the rarest species [of deepwater sharks]in the world,” Enolva said.
She said that a megamouth shark can reach a maximum length of 17 feet (5.2 metres) with a life span of 100 years.
It resides in deep waters but rises towards the surface at night to feed or eat plankton.
Burias Pass which is a body of water located between the shores of Albay and Masbate provinces down to Sorsogon is considered a productive fishing ground and home to an array of marine species like sharks, rays, dolphins and whales.
The waters in Burias Pass are also known to be plankton-rich with constant current, which makes it ideal as an alley for so-called pelagic creatures like whale sharks locally called “Butanding” the gentle giant fish in the world frequently migrating in Donsol for feeding, including thresher sharks, hammerheads and tiger sharks.
Enolva said Burias Pass is highly diverse — meaning the Burias-Ticao Pass fishing ground is very important in the biological diversity of the region— home to rare and endangered species.