05/09/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Philippine Fishermen Net and Eat Rare Megamouth Shark

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Fishermen in the Philippines accidentally caught and later ate a megamouth shark, one of the rarest fishes in the world with only 40 others recorded to have been encountered, the World Wildlife Fund said Tuesday. Yan said a WWF Donsol Project Manager Elson Aca took pictures of the megamouth and tried to dissuade the fishermen from eating it. The first megamouth was discovered in Hawaii in 1976, prompting scientists to create an entirely new family and genus of sharks. Aca said the presence of two of the world's three filter-feeding sharks along with manta rays and dolphins indicates that the region's marine ecosystem was still relatively healthy and should continue to be protected. 2

The 1,100-pound, 13-foot-long megamouth died while struggling in the fishermen's net on March 30 off Burias island in the central Philippines. 1

However, they went against his advice and made a local speciality dish called kinunot - shark meat sauteed in coconut milk. The discovery was hailed as the marine find of the 20th century, rivalling the discovery of the coelacanth in the 1930s. 4
  1. Rare Megamouth Shark Caught, Then Eaten (MSNBC)
  2. Rare 1,100-Pound Shark Caught, Eaten (ABC)
  3. World's Rarest Shark Caught, Then Eaten (GreenOptions)
  4. Philippine Fishermen Net and Eat Rare Megamouth Shark (The Guardian)