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

World's Rarest Shark Caught, Then Eaten

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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. Others megamouths have been encountered in California, Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, Brazil, Ecuador, Senegal, South Africa, Mexico and Australia. 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. 3
  1. World's Rarest Shark Caught, Then Eaten (GreenOptions)
  2. Rare 1,100-Pound Shark Caught, Eaten (ABC)
  3. Rare Megamouth Shark Caught, Then Eaten (MSNBC)