Thanks to Dave Ebert, Leonard Campagno, John Morrissey, Tom Haight, Alex Buttigieg (large number of missing photos), Ton Egbers, Victor Lin, Miguel A. Romero, Otto Gadig, Shih-Chu Yang and John Y. Wang for information or photos. See also http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/Sharks/Megamouth/mega.htm with links to accounts of the captures of some of the specimenes. Featured Elasmobranch (species) March 2005 at Pacific Shark Research Center, MLML.
|Photo/ID||Date||Location||Sex||TL (m)||M (kg)
|PCL (m)||Comments and Reference
In Mass column, CF = condition factor = M/TL^3
|# 1 holotype
||15 Nov 1976||
|Adult male. Taylor, Compagno & Struskaker (1983).|
||29 Nov 1984||California||M||4.490||Lavenberg and Seigel (1985).|
||18 Aug 1988||Western Australia||M||5.150||3.430
|Mature male. Berra and Huchins (1990).|
||23 Jan 1989||Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan||M||~4||Nakaya (1989).|
|# 5||June 1989||Yaizu, Shizuoka, Japan||F*||~4.9||Miya et al. (1992). *Most likely a female (John Morrissey)|
||21 Oct 1990||California||M||4.9||Fitted with two ultrasonic transmitters and tracked for two days. Lavenberg (1991). Additinal photos by Tom Haight: #1; #6; #20.|
||29 Nov 1994||Hakata Bay, Fukuoka, Japan
(34o 40' N, 130o 50'E)
|First ever female (but see #5), immature. Castro et al. in Yano, Morrissey, Yabumoto, and Nakaya, eds. (1997).|
|# 8||4 May 1995||Senegal||M||~1.8||Immature male. Séret (1995).|
||18 Sep 1995||Brazil||M||1.9||Immature male. Amorim et al. (1995, AES abstract); F.Amorim, A.F., C.A. Arfelli, & J.I. Castro (2000).|
||30 Apr 1997||Mikizaki, Owase City, Japan||F||5.44||
150 m deep, Yano et al. (1999).
||20 Feb. 1998||Cagayan de Oro, Philippines||M||5.49||M. Amorim, A.F., C.A. Arfelli, & J.I. Castro (2000).|
|# 12||23 Apr 1998||Osawe, Honshu, Japan||F||5.20||Amorim, A.F., C.A. Arfelli, & J.I. Castro (2000).|
||30 Aug. 1998||Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia||F||~5.0||Observed being attacked by sperm whales (Pecchioni P. $ Benoldi C. 1999; Amorim, A.F., C.A. Arfelli, & J.I. Castro 2000).|
||1 Oct. 1999||San Diego, California||F||5.18||On October 1, 1999, a megamouth shark (female, aprox. 17 ft) was caught in a drift gillnet and released alive in good condition. A National Marine Fisheries Service observer was aboard the commercial swordfish vessel, 30 miles west of San Diego, California. The observer was able to take four color photographs including one of the upper jaw (white lip) / lower jaw (dark spots on white chin) and others of the underside of body (no visible claspers). Water depth at this location is 190 fms. and water temperature was 67.2 F. This is the third (November 1984, October 1990) megamouth caught off Southern California in a drift gillnet targeting swordfish. Don.Petersen@noaa.gov|
||19 Oct. 2001||California||M||~5.5 FL||On October 19, 2001, another Megamouth shark (male, approx. 18 ft. fork length) was caught in a drift gillnet and released alive in good condition. A U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service observer was aboard the commercial swordfish vessel, approx. 42 miles northwest of San Diego, California. The observer was able to collect a tissue biopsy and take many color photographs including one of the upper jaw with white lip and lower jaw with dark spots on a white chin. The observer also noted the presence of claspers. Water depth at this location is 460 fms. and the sea surface temperature was 65.8 F. This is the fourth (November 1984, October 1990, October 1999) Megamouth shark caught off Southern California in a drift gillnet targeting swordfish. If you are interested in seeing the photos, please go to the following web site: http://swr.nmfs.noaa.gov/mega15.htm Don Petersen|
||18 Jan 2002||East Indian Ocean
(2o 17.9' S, 88o 12.7'E)
|Tuna purse seine, discarded (John Morrissey). One more composite jgp. All photos copyright Sopana Boonyapiwat. For more information see http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/Sharks/Megamouth/Mega16.htm|
||20 Apr 2002||
Natures Valley, Western Cape Province, South
|On 20 April 2002, a large shark was stranded at Natures Valley (33o 59' S, 23o 34'E) in the Western Cape Province, South Africa. Initial reports suggested that it was a whale shark, but subsequent reports and digital photographs confirmed that it was a megamouth, Megachasma pelagios. Dr Vic Cockcroft of the Centre for Dolphin Studies collected it from the beach to ensure that it was not washed out to sea again. It is the first record of this species in South Africa and the Western Indian Ocean and is the 17th discovered world-wide since its discovery off Hawaii was announced in 1976. It was iced early the next morning and collected by Dr Malcolm Smale and Matt Dicken and brought back to the Port Elizabeth Museum. It was placed in a scientific freezer and frozen to -20o C. A preliminary examination showed that the animal, approximately 4m long and female was in reasonable condition, but the skin was scuffed and there was some damage to the fins. It will be examined, measured and dissected by Drs Malcolm Smale (Port Elizabeth Museum) & Leonard Compagno (South African Museum) in early May. Various samples, including tissues for DNA analyses will be saved for future research. Taxidermists will make a mould of the animal for educational displays in museums. Elasmo-L posting by M. Smale on 23 April 2002.|
|06 Jan 2003||Philippines||~4.97||#18 was caught in Philippines .
More info at http://www.sharkmans-world.com and http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/Sharks/Megamouth/mega.htm
|26 May 2003||California||6.1-7.6||~5000||
#19 reportedly sighted in California. More info at http://www.SHARKMANS-WORLD.ORG and http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/Sharks/Megamouth/mega.htm
|03 Jul 2003||Hualien Province
|The shark was caught on July 4, 2003 in Hualien Province,
Taiwan, 800 meters off the coast. It was about 2.5 meters long and allegedly
weighed 490kg. Victor Lin identfied claspers in the original photo so it`s
Victor Lin translated a newspaper clipping about this mystery fish dated 4 July 2003.
Po-Feng Lee received pictures from Mr. Lee about this megamouth shark landing in east Taiwan. Thanks.
||07 Aug 2003||Omaezaki, Sizuoka Japan||M||4.30||Omaezaki, Sizuoka Japan; 7-August-2003; 430 cm; Tokai University (taxidermy).
|08 Mar 2004
Off Peru /Equador
| Information from Miguel A. Romero sent to Otto Gadig on 26 March 2004:
Captured in northern Peru near the border with Ecuador. May be the first
record in the eastern South Pacific. Miguel is writing a note for the SSG
website. (Add URL once it's up.)
|13 Mar 2004||Gapang Beach, northern tip of Sumatra, Indonsia||M||1.767||13.82
I think there can be no doubt anymore that the shark specimen that washed ashore here today on Gapang Beach, less than 30 meters away from our doorstep, literally, is the rare shark species Megachasma pelagios. Thanks for the attention so far, Ton Egbers.
Additional morphometrics: Caudal length 62 cm, Pectorals 33 cm Additional photos: #243;. #244; #249; lumbalumba diving center for more info and pics.
White, Fahmi, and Kurnaen (2004). A juvenile megamouth shark Megachasma pelagios (Lamniformes: Megachasmidae) from Northern Sumatra, Indonesia. The Raffels Bulletin of Zoology 52(2): 603-607. (5MB PDF)
|19 Apr 2004||Tokyo Bay near Ichihara City||F||5.63||1215
|A rare megamouth deep-sea shark is displayed after being discovered in Tokyo Bay near Ichihara City, in this handout photo released by the Natural History Museum and Institute, April 22, 2004. The shark measures 5.63 meters (18.47 feet) in length, 2,679 lbs in weight, and its mouth is 1.15 meters (3.77 feet) in diameter, which the museum says is the world's largest of its kind yet reported. Thanks to Alex Buttigieg for posting information|
||23 Apr 2004||Off Ajiro, Shizuoka Japan||F||~4.9
Shark #25 Caught Off Ajiro, Shizuoka Japan
April 23, 2004 Sources of Information: Masami Furuta Toba Aquarium
Newspaper article in Japanese mentions TL = 5.5 and 5.6 m and weight of "1", implying over 1 ton (V. Lin).
|4 Nov 2004
|Barangay Namocon, Tigbauan, Iloilo, Philippines||F||5.04||~1000
| From David Greenfield <email@example.com>
#24 is now at SEAFDEC FishWorld, SEAFDEC Aquaculture Department,Tigbauan, Iloilo, Philippines. Stranded alive at Barangay Namocon, Tigbauan, Iloilo, Philippines at 4 PM and died at 10 PM.
The Manila Bulletin Online has complete story.
Additional photo and other details.
||23 Jan 2005||off Kiseicho Nishiki, Mie, Japan||F||5.28||
Shark #27 Captured In Purse Seine off Japan
|30 Jan 2005||Cagayan de Oro City, Island Mindanao, Philippines||F?||4.17||~1000
|# 29||~ 25 Apr 2005||Hualien, Eastern Taiwan||580||First of four was caught about a week befor the second one on May 2, 2005.|
|# 30||02 May 2005||Hualien, Eastern Taiwan||580||Second one was caught on May 2. All four were purchased by the same fish processor who said they were all the same species (pretty distinctive). The first two were both 580 kg each. They were sold for consumption.|
|04 May 2005||Hualien, Eastern Taiwan||F||4.87
|3.39 69.6% TL||
Third one of four:
|05 May 2005||Hualien, Eastern Taiwan||F||4.83
|3.39 69.6% TL||
Fourth one of four:
According to recent publication by Lee and Shao (2010) in J. Fish. Soc. Taiwan 36 (4), 303-311 this fish was a little shorter than the one caught the day before (#31 above) but had more girth and weighed considerably more.
|05 June 2005||Hualien, Eastern Taiwan||M||~3.5-4.0||400-500||
The fishermen in Hualien got another megamouth...I guess it's #33? Because it was Sunday and the fishery office isn't open, length and weight were not taken at the dock buy according to the dealer the weight was 400~500kg and closer to 500kg. . I have asked the fisherman to save some vertebra and muscle tissue for me. There was an earthquake the day before, and this megamouth shows up. Just like last time. according to the dealer is 400~500kg and closer to 500kaccording to the dealer is 400~500kg.
This shark was in bad shape when Victor Lin rushed to
the dock two days after capture. The tail was broken when hung onto the
boat. The first half was about 1.75 m and tail end about 178cm . The whole
right upper jaw was gone. It probably "slipped" into the sea
when they hooked the shark and broke the jaw.
|26 Jan 2006||Off Bayawan coast, ~100 km south of Dmaguete City, Central Visayas, Philippines island of Negros||F||~5||~1000||
Hundreds of residents of Bayawan City in southern Oriental Negros woke up yesterday to the sight of the biggest fish they ever saw following the accidental capture by fishermen of a rare five-meter megamouth shark. The shark, which was estimated to weigh one ton, was found by fishermen struggling to free itself from a net just off the Bayawan coast, some 100 kilometers south of Dumaguete City. Thanks to Alex Buttigieg for information and BenCyrus G. Ellorin for correction on location.
|12 Mar 2006||Macajalar Bay in Northern Mindanao, Philippines||F||2.26||60-80
BenCyrus G. Ellorin:
||23 March 2006||Off China Sea||4.7||650
|Thanks to Victor Lin for photo and information.|
|2 May 2006||Sagami Bay,
Yugawara.(Kanagawa prefecture) Japan
|F||5.7|| It was caught by a fixed shore net on May 2nd, 2006.
in Sagami Bay, Yugawara.(Kanagawa prefecture). It was alive when it was
found in the net, and NHK's camera crew shot a film of it. Then it was pulled
up but it was already dead. It was measured at 5.7m. Meg 37 was a female
and is going to be displayed at the Keikyu Aburatsubo marine park ( in Kanagawa)
Japan. Thanks to Alex Buttigieg for information and photo.
|16 Nov 2006||Tortugas Bay, West Coast of Baja California, Mexico||F||2.149||27 (2.7)||
Megamouth # 38 was caught in a commercial shark gill net in the waters near Tortugas Bay, off the west coast of the peninsula of Baja California, México. The specimen was a juvenile female with a total length of 214.9 cm. After the specimen is preserved, it will be on public exhibit in the Regional Fisheries Center of Ensenada prior to possibly moving it to the Natural History Museum in Mexico City. (Text from http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/sharks/megamouth/mega38.html )
|# 39||30 May 2007||
Barangay Tungkob, Minglanilla town, Cebu, Philippines
|?||2.49 (8.2 ft)||Megamouth Shark # 39: Hurt Megamouth Shark found near Cebu shore. May 30, 2007. Source of Information:Bernadette A. Parco Cebu Daily News|
||June 2007||Sagami Bay, Japan||F||5.4||In June 2007, a 5.40 m female was found alive in a net. It was filmed,
and released. This was in Sagami Bay, Japan. Video and photos.Alex Buttigieg personal communication as per contact with Taku Horie, researcher at Tokai University.
||July 2007||off Japan||F||3.7||361 (7.1)||I just found news about a megamouth shark caught off Japan. Attached
is photo of a 4 m, 450 kg megamouth caught off Japan in July, 2007.
Victor Lin, personal communication.
This 3.7m, 361 kg female shark was kept frozen until it was put on display in
March 2011 at the Churaumi aquarium in Okinawa. This led to confusion that it might be a new specimen. Video and info. Alex Buttigieg, personal information as per contact with Taku Horie, researcher at Tokai University. Recent publication on functtional morphology of pectoral fin using this and one other specimen.
||27 Sep 2007||Hinunangan, So Lyete, Philippines||2.74||Found Dead, Stranded On Beach In Hinunangan, Philippines. For details
Photo provided by Alex Buttigieg.
||around 30 June 2008||off Taiwan||?||?||~200||
The only information I was able to collect for this megamouth is its
weight and capture date (200 kg+; around June 30). No length, sex, photo,
nor other data. The fisherman (dealer) who reported it to me was the same
one who bought the #33 megamouth, so I believe it to be authentic. The
jaw is 30" wide (76.2 cm) and 16" tall (40.6 cm) and it was
difficult to keep the shape of this soft jaw.Victor Lin personal communication.
|10 July 2008||off East Taiwan||F?||5.0-5.5?||870
|There was another megamouth caught off East Taiwan on July 10. This one was big, claimed to be 9 m in the news ( more likely 5.0~5.5m judging from the picture) and it was actually weighed at 870kg. It looked like a female in the picture. Victor Lin personal communication.|
|# 45||5 Sep 2008||Hinunangan, So. Lyete, Philippines||?||2.13||This megamouth was reported stranded and alive on the shoreline and was pushed offshore, back into the water. See http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/sharks/megamouth/mega42a.html|
|30 March 2009||Eastern Coast of Burioas Island in Donsol, Sorsogon province, central Philippines||M||4.0||500 (7.8)||
shark caught in Donsol--WWF
Another account. Thanks to Bob Lea for URL.
|9 June 2009||Off East Taiwan||F||3.9||350 (5.9)||
A megamouth shark was caught off eastern county of Taitung, Taiwan
on June 9, 2009. It was 3.90 m long, weighed 350 kg and appeared to be
a female. A local shark museum bought it and will mount it for display.
| # 48||9 July 2009||Praia Grande, Cabo Frio, in Rio de Janeiro||M||5.39||According to LIMA, M.L., RENNÓ, B., & SICILIANO , S. 2009. Gigante dos mares em areias fluminenses. Ciencia Hoje, Vol. 44, Setembro, 56-57 this specimen was found stranded and dead on July 9, 2009 in Praia Grande, Cabo Frio, in Rio de Janeiro. The specimen was a male measuring 5.39 meters. Part of the specimen was consumed by the locals. Thanks to Prof. Dr. Ulisses Leite Gomes Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro Instituto de Biologia Departamento de Zoologia Laboratório de Taxonomia de Elasmobrânquios Rio de Janeiro, RJ - BRASIL|
| # 49||6 Nov 2009||18 m SW of the Benitos Islands (Mexico)||M|| |
1.99; TOT (stretched) 2.05
|1.26; FL = 1.53|| November 6, 2009 Sources of Information:|
Escibedi Fernando Camacho (El Mexicano). Measurements from Dan Cartamil.
Same as #52 on Wikepedia.org list (based on information from Falcon 2011)
| # 50||25 Apr 2010||Off SE China (Taiwan Straight)||M||~4||~1000||Details from Victor Lin: On April 25 2010, a friend who lives near the beach informed me that there was a megamouth shark caught and it was brought to a fishery product factory. I asked him to go there and take some pictures. When he arrived, the shark was already skinned. The shark had been cut into chunks and distributed to retail sellers. Only the skin and the broken jaw were left at the factory. After a phone-negotiation, the owner of the factory agreed to save the skin and jaw for me. Sex: Male (see pic I) Length: Unknown, probably can be estimated after the skin is sent to me and de-frozen. For now, based on picture III, I would say it's at least 4 meters long. Weight: Unknown. The factory owner told me he estimated the weight to be over 1000 kg (the shark was not weighed). The skin alone, weighed between 100~200 kg. The finished shark mount will be donated to a public museum or educational institute.|
| # 51||19 Jun 2010||Eastern Taiwan||~766||From Victor Lin: A fish dealer in North East Taiwan called me on Friday (June 19, 2010) saying he had purchased a megamouth shark. I asked him whether the whole shark could be kept or if he could at least take some pictures. He said he could not. Anyway, the jaw was saved and I took pictures when I went there on Saturday. I also saw some likely parts of the body when I peeped into the dealer's stock but could no gleam any extra information from them.|
|New addition, see Alex B. webpage for updated numbers||24 Jun 2011||Off Shizuoka prefecture, Japan||5.4||Recent publication on functtional morphology of pectoral fin using this and one other specimen.|
| # 52||01 Jul 2011||Kanagawa pref. Japan||?||~3||Information and photos freom Alex Buttigieg.|
| # 53||Jan 2012||Sea of China||?||5.65-5.70||1150-1250||Information and photos freom Victor Lin. Second Photo.|
| # 54||16 Oct 2012||Off Eastern Taiwan||F||~6; using 0.666 for PCL/TL from Yano et al (1997) would give 6.4 m||900-1000||4.29||A female Megamouth shark was caught off eastern Taiwan on Oct 16th, 2012. It measured 429 cm without its tail which was broken when the shark was hauled back to the harbor. The fish dealer who purchased the shark estimated the shark would have been 6 m TL. The shark was estimated to weigh 800~900kg. The orgens were preserved and donated to a university and the meat was sold. Information and photos freom Victor Lin. Second Photo.|
For # 55 - # 60, go to http://sharkmans-world.eu/mega.html . Alex said on 9 May, 2014 that : "In the past 3 weeks I got quite a few new details and the numbers between 50 to 60 have been changing like "musical chairs". The Filming for the Discovery channel's "Alien Sharks" also turned a few things around. I am no longer keeping track of new additions.
|Photo||Date||Location||Sex||TL (m)||M (kg)
|PCL (m)||Comments and Reference
In Mass column, CF = condition factor = M/TL^3