moving megamouth

On 22 September 2010 Megamouth III, the WA Museum's extraordinarily rare and valuable megamouth shark, was moved from Perth into a purpose built tank at the WA Museum – Maritime in Fremantle.

Moving Megamouth was a massive logistical activity that took over one year to plan. Over 7000 litres of ethanol had to be disposed of, a fragile and priceless specimen had to moved across a city, and extensive and ongoing conservation processes had to be developed.

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A workman moving a large shark

What is Megamouth?

The megamouth shark is one of rarest sharks in the world with only 50 specimens ever discovered. They are a filter-feeder shark that usually swim around 150 meters below the surface and belong to the most primitive living shark order - Lamniformes.

learn more about megamouth sharks

Megamouth III beached on Mandurah beach
Megamouth III beached on Mandurah beach
Photo by WA Museum
Photo copyright of WA Museum

Only 50 specimens ever recorded

The 50 specimens of megamouth and where they were discovered are displayed on the above map. About 14 specimens are now retained at research institutes. The seventh specimen is of particular interest to scientists. This female specimen was the subject of a dissection and symposium held in Japan in 1994. After all this attention, the specimen is still in excellent condition and is now on display at Marine World umino-nakamichi.