What exactly the Whale Shark Museum is all about, we do not know at this point!
Whale sharks have been present in Talisayan’s waters since at least the 1950s and hunting them for their fins was a source of income for some coastal communities until the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources banned the practice in 1998. (Source)
Talisayan in Misamis Oriental is planning to develop whale shark sightseeing tours. (Source)
There have been some observations of Whale Sharks and Mega-mouth Sharks in Misamis Oriental water.
WHALE SHARK (Rhincodon typus)
The whale shark is the largest fish. One of the largest whale sharks recorded, reportedly from the Taiwanese fishery in 1987, measured 20 m and 34 tons in mass (Chen et al., 1997) .
Most of the whale sharks found in the Philippines have lengths of five to seven meters, meaning they are juveniles as sexually mature individuals are eight to nine meters long, at around 20 to 25 years of age. The smallest whale shark in the world was found in Bicol waters at 0.46m in length. The whale shark has a distinguishable checkerboard and spots pattern on its body except in the ventral side. Another distinguishing feature of the whale shark would be its terminally located mouth. They are found throughout the Philippines with a number of feeding aggregations near the coast, such as the Ticao/Burias Pass, Bohol/Mindanao Sea, and Puerto Princesa Bay. These feeding aggregation sites are the location of a lucrative whale shark interaction tourism enterprise. (Source)
MEGAMOUTH SHARK (Megachasma pelagios)
Reaching a length of more than 5m, the megamouth shark is the world’s third largest fish next to the whale shark and basking shark.
The species is wide-ranging and is recorded to occur in depths between 15 to 150m. The megamouth shark is one of the rarest sharks in the world with only 63 records since the first specimen was recovered in 1976. Fourteen of those incidences were reported from the Philippines as strandings or as bycatch. (Source)
Articles about Megamouth and Whale Sharks in Misamis Oriental waters:
Megamouth Shark in Cagayan de Oro
“On the night of February 20, 1998, three fishermen in Macajalar Bay, Cagayan de Oro caught a fish they couldn’t identify.”
The Capture of Megamouth
“They had expected small fish and discarded pieces of polluting cellophane, but this one, this incredible mouth only, was unbelievably massive. What kind of fish owned that mouth? A shark? A whale? A dolphin?” (February 1998)
Whale Sharks in Iligan Bay
“So, Iligan Bay is also along the whale sharks’ migration path. This was confirmed on Feb. 4, 1999 as a 15-meter whale shark, Rhincodon typus, was trapped in a fishpen of Eduardo Gaid, and released unharmed by noon in Barangay Maputi, here, about 60 kilometers from Cagayan de Oro and 28 kilometers away from Iligan City.”
“MEGAMOUTH 28 was caught in the net of Sofronio Castañares in Macajalar Bay, Philippines, around 3 am on January 30, 2005. The fish dragged Castañares’ paddle-driven banca for about an hour, until it stopped, apparently exhausted. “
Extremely Rare and Weird Looking Megamouth Shark Washed Ashore In The Philippines (June 2014)
Megamouth shark washes up in Philippines (Cebu) and is only the 60th we’ve ever seen (January 2015)
Megamouth, whale sharks resurface in Macajalar Bay (September 2018)
A megamouth shark (Megachasma pelagios) that was unintentionally caught by a fisherman off Macajalar Bay (July 2019)
The following sightings of Megamouth Sharks are listed by date:
Date: June 30, 2014
Location: Caught in Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines
Length: 549 cm
Disposition: This shark weighed between 881-1,102 lbs. It washed ashore dead and cause of death is being investigated. It will be buried by officials.
Date: March 12, 2006
Location: Barra, Macabalan, Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines
Length: 226 cm
Disposition: Accidental gill net capture by fishermen.Died before it could be set free.
Date: January 30, 2005
Location: Cagayan de Oro, Philippines
Sex: F ?
Length: 417 cm
Disposition: Caught by fisherman, buried
Date: January 6, 2003
Location: Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines
Length: 497 cm
Date: February 21, 1998
Location: Cagayan de Oro, Philippines
Length: ca. 549 cm TL
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