A report published a few days ago says that the sea southeast of Taiwan may be a birthplace of whale sharks, but, apart from whale sharks, another super-rare kind of shark is present in the seas around Taiwan, namely the megamouth shark, of which only 107 specimens have been found in the whole world up to now. Of these, 40 have been discovered around the coast of Taiwan’s Hualien and Taitung counties, so that even researchers from other countries come to Taiwan to chase sharks.
According to the report in the United Daily News, Hsu Hua-hsun, a post-doctoral researcher at National Taiwan Ocean University’s shark sustainability research center, says that a megamouth sharks’ external appearance resembles a “giant tadpole,” and they can exceed seven meters in length. Because they are very rare, there is very little research data about them worldwide concerning things like how fast megamouth sharks grow and how many young they carry.
Hsu says that the places where megamouth sharks are most frequently caught internationally include the vicinities of Japan, the Philippines and other East Asian archipelagoes, but fewer are found there than in the Hualien and Taitung region. From this it can be seen that the sea off Taiwan’s east coast is the main region in which megamouth sharks exist. Hsu suggests that the reasons why the seas adjacent to Hualien and Taitung are an important habitat for megamouth sharks may involve factors of terrain and ocean currents. At present, most of the megamouth sharks caught around Taiwan have been young ones. Conservation groups call on fisheries to include megamouth sharks on the list of species that humans are forbidden to catch, so that they can live happily around Taiwan.
(Liberty Times, translated by Julian Clegg)
Photo: Yu Tai-lang, Liberty Times
1. namely adv.
就是 (jiu4 shi4)
例: Two members of our team have been slacking off, namely Peter and Marjory.
2. tadpole n.
蝌蚪 (ke1 dou3)
例: Tadpoles grow hind legs first, then forelegs.
3. vicinity n.
附近 (fu4 jin4)
例: There are several convenience stores in the vicinity.
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