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Second Megamouth in a Week Caught and Released by Japanese Fishermen

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Still image of the megamouth from YouTube footage recorded by reporters Shingo Kuzutani and Kotaro Ebara/Asahi Shimbun

For the second time in a week, a specimen of the rare megamouth shark has been found in Japan.

On 22 May, a previous encounter with a megamouth shark ended in tragedy just a day after it had been filmed. The shark had been found inside a fishing net and was released into an ocean cage where it died just a few hours later, despite initially appearing to be in good health.

The second, 5.1m long, animal was reportedly caught by a Japanese fishing vessel on 26 May, approximately 20km south of Owase Port, approximately 500km from the previous sighting near Tateyama, according to a new report in the Asahi Shimbun

The megamouth was placed into a large tank on the deck of the fishing boat and brought into port, where scientists from the Toba Aquarium determined that the shark was female and subsequently released back into the ocean after taking a blood sample.

According to the report, the megamouth was considered to be 'relatively healthy'.

The sightings, tragic as the first one might have been, are especially unusual as there have only been approximately 110 sightings around the world since the shark was first discovered in 1976.

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