Elusive megamouth shark snared in Mexico
Thursday, 11 August 2011 by Erick Falcón Cosmos OnlineENSENADA: One of the rarest known species of fish, the megamouth shark, has been caught by fishermen in Mexico for the second time in five years.Only 51 specimens of the elusive deep-water shark have ever been caught or sighted since the discovery of the species in Hawaii in 1976. So far, megamouths have appeared in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans, mostly near Japan and Taiwan, but also in places as diverse as Australia, Ecuador and South Africa. Yet only one has been ever captured alive, in 1990.The newly caught shark, a three-metre male deceased juvenile, was captured near the western Baja peninsula coast, in a region called Bahía de Vizcaíno, which is about a seven-hour drive south of San Diego, California. It was caught by the same fishing vessel that in 2006 captured another megamouth specimen in Vizcaino bay, which has led Mexican scientists to believe that the megamouth could be a seasonal visitor to the Baja Peninsula."Although there is few scientific data collected, local fishermen assured us that they've caught other, even bigger megamouth sharks before, so we believe this might mean this species can be part of the shark population that roams the western coasts of Baja," said Omar Santana, a researcher for Ensenada-based CICESE science institute.