Rare Megamouth Shark Caught -bycatch

A rare megamouth shark has been caught in Japan.

Twitter @louoly_o0
Twitter @louoly_o0

The shark was unintentional netted yesterday morning near the Mie Prefecture around three miles off the Owase Port and has reportedly been sold at a fish market.

It is estimated the shark weighed around one ton (907kg) and was around sixteen and one half feet long (5M).


The shark lives in extremely deep water with one specimen reportedly caught in 660 feet of water.


Megamouth sharks are one of three known plankton feeding sharks.  Both whale sharks and basking sharks also use their large mouths to feed on plankton.

According to Shark Devocean the megamouth shark may “make use of a highly reflective, luminescent mouth, which may act as a light trap to attract prey (imagine its mouth like an underwater electric flytrap found in kitchens). It has also been proposed that a bioluminescent strip above the mouth may also be used in a similar way, although neither of these behaviours have been proven”.

This is the 61st know specimen to have been caught or seen.  Two were found in 2014 and one in 2015.

The unintended netting of this shark illustrates an issue that has become an unfortunate side effect of commercial fishing called bycatch. When fisherman catch non target species it can quickly up set the delicate Eco balance of the ocean. Just last moth a 1,000lbs great white shark was unintentionally caught in China.


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12 Thoughts to “Rare Megamouth Shark Caught -bycatch”

  1. Issis

    The Japanese demand for shark fins makes questionable whether the 1000 lbs of sharks caught was unintentional … Deep net fishing as the abominable whale hunts and dolphin slaughter, and the illicit markets for bear bile, rhino horns, elephant ivory, dogs and cats, etc. countenanced by the Asian nations needs to be stopped. That said, the abominable mistreatment of farm animals throughout the world certainly undermines any moral superiority of western nations. See Paul McCarthy’s “If Slaughterhouses had Glass Walls”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_UpyY2MIOc

  2. lauretta

    I am repulsed by the lack of respect for Mother Nature. They have no conscious. If they have a killing field for babies, until they learned about money from Americans that go and buy the children that were once left in a field to die of starvation because of population overflow. What the hell do we think they will do to any living human or creature for disposable income

    1. Bubba

      Lauretta are you talking about the Japanese ? Your confused ! This is about a Mega mouth shark.

  3. would have been great if those fishermen were to be fed to these sharks.. would they still do commercial fishing??? worth trying Shinto Abe… lets do some sample.

    1. Bubba

      Robert the mega mouth eats planktin !

  4. Shae

    Their treatment of all animal life is appalling… Makes me sick whats done to the ocean life, but I had the unfortunate experience of seeing what they do to dogs and cats as well… No compassion… disgusting. 🙁

    1. Bubba

      Shae you are confused. The Chinese eat cats and dogs.The Japanese eat mostly fish.

  5. Steve Mitchell

    Megamouth Shark: You can see two trails of blood leading to the wharf’s edge and an owner’s stamp on the shark’s head (If my brief experiences at the Tokyo fish market are a guide.)


    1. Kmac

      I believe you are spot on. I have heard the shark was sold for bait and brought an extremely low price, but have been unable to verify.

      1. Satyabrata Saha

        I am wondering if there is any connection between continuous tremor in Japan and the appearance of deep sea creature like megamouth shark.

        1. Kmac

          Good question!! There could be some correlation. We know so little about them, it would be tough to say. There have been a few caught in the last few years by deep sea nets, but unsure if there had been any seismic activity at the time.

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