Japanese fishermen have found a rare megamouth shark caught alive in fishing nets in the Pacific near Tokyo.
The fishermen spotted the 5-meter shark on Monday about one kilometer off the coast of Tateyama, Chiba Prefecture.
The shark was later handed over to a local diving guide firm in the city, and is currently being kept in a fishpond.
The megamouth is a deep-water shark that inhabits the Pacific and Indian Oceans and is characterized by its big mouth.
Professor Sho Tanaka of Tokai University says megamouth sharks have been spotted only about 100 times in the world and just 20 times in Japan. Some are washed ashore or get caught in fishing nets.
Tanaka said the shark captured on Monday may have come near the surface to feed on plankton as it was migrating on the Japan Current.
He noted that scientists know little about the species, including how long it lives. He said the latest discovery will greatly help scientists learn more about the shark.