Manila: A group of fishermen found human remains inside the belly of a large tiger shark they caught in the Bohol Sea in Central Philippines.

According to a November 10 report published by the southern Philippines-based MindaNews, the five fishermen caught the 300kg tiger shark in the waters between the islands of Bohol and Caiguin on November 5.

When the fishers slit open the belly of the creature, it yielded decomposing human remains.

The report said the shark’s stomach contained half-digested body parts, including a human head and leg.

Like some shark species, tiger sharks are known to be predators as well as scavengers.

MindaNews quoted one of the fishermen who caught the shark, 48-year-old Bodoy Gorgod, as saying that they had to throw back the human remains at sea because they were already rotting and they could not stand the smell.

Gorgod also said they had to leave the human remains — as well as portions of the shark— because they believe that taking them on board would bring them bad luck.

The human remains found inside the shark are believed to have been the victims of a September 13 sea tragedy near the Panaoan Island in Southern Leyte, Eastern Philippines.

At least eight people died when the ferry Maharlika 2 sank in the waters off southern Leyte on the morning of September 13.

Two male passengers had remained missing and a board of marine inquiry is still investigating the incident, which occurred while tropical depression Kaelmegi (Luis) was affecting the country.

A total 144 people were rescued from the tragedy.

Maritime accidents often occur in the Philippines, an archipelagic country where the major inter-island transport is via sea ferries. Most of the waters in the Philippines, except inland areas, are infested with sharks.