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Rare shark spotted by wreck team

Rare shark spotted by wreck team

A bluntnose six-gill shark has been seen and filmed for the first time in the Philippines.

The footage was recorded by the same deepwater research team that discovered seven WW2 wrecks recently, as reported on Divernet.

Researchers on Paul G Allen’s expedition vessel Petrel saw the large shark as it swam in front of their ROV cameras, and zoomed in to identify it.

The Philippines boasts nearly 200 species of sharks and rays, but local researchers told the team that Hexanchus griseus, one of the world’s bigger sharks, had never been documented alive in its waters before.

“This is remarkable footage of the bluntnose sixgill shark, a rare and deep-dwelling species of shark,” said Gonzalo Araojo, Executive Director of the Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute Philippines (LAMAVE).

“This, to our knowledge, is the first live encounter with the species in the Philippines, with only a few records known from fisheries. It highlights the rich marine biodiversity of the country and the need to sustainably manage it.”

In 2015 Allen launched an initiative called Global FinPrint to help scientists and conservationists to track sharks, rays and other diminishing marine species.

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19-Dec-17

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