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sharpiefan
09-02-2018, 09:18 AM
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/320/cpsprodpb/E570/production/_103263785_gettyimages-861593182.jpg
Ocean Sunfish (Mola-mola)
Getty Images



A fish normally found in tropical waters has twice been spotted off the west coast of Scotland last week.
It is the fourth time this year that the sunfish has been recorded by the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust.
The ocean sunfish is the heaviest bony fish in the world, with an average weight of 2,200lbs (998kg).
The species was recorded on Friday by the crew of a fishing boat off the north coast of Skye. A sunfish was also seen off Ardnamurchan on Wednesday.
Sunfish, which drift with ocean currents, were once rarely seen in Scotland, but boat operators have reported more sightings in recent years, with August being the peak month.
They live on a diet of mostly jellyfish and swim at depths of up to nearly 2,000ft (610m).

john welsford
09-02-2018, 03:07 PM
We've only seen them here on very rare occasions, (35 deg south) but the other day I was walking on the beach and saw my dog rolling in something very very dead. On inspection, I found that it was the remains of a sunfish, the dog rode in the back of the pickup until we got back to a hose and some dog soap. It took a while to get the stink out of his coat, I suspect that he thinks it was worth it.
But on enquiring of our marine biology lab up the road, it seems that they're much more common than in the past, our waters here are on average 4 deg c warmer than they were 10 years ago and we're seeing marine species changes that are unprecedented. I do hope the Fairy Penguins stay though.

John Welsford

SKIP KILPATRICK
09-02-2018, 03:52 PM
I once saw one of these strange beauties off the Virginia capes. It was a real treat to see.

skuthorp
09-02-2018, 04:02 PM
I have asked the same question re water temperatures and Little Penguins here, the tourist industry around them locally is big and getting bigger. But the penguin's food source is a small cold water fish and I have wondered when our colonies will be effected and move south themselves.
As it is local fishermen now catch species only previously seen much further north, but then the east coast current has moved south and delivers warmer water to below Tasmania threatening it's kelp forests.

Breakaway
09-02-2018, 04:29 PM
We see them here several times a year. They look ungainly, yet leap clear of the water with some regularity.

Kevin


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

David G
09-02-2018, 08:09 PM
We've only seen them here on very rare occasions, (35 deg south) but the other day I was walking on the beach and saw my dog rolling in something very very dead. On inspection, I found that it was the remains of a sunfish, the dog rode in the back of the pickup until we got back to a hose and some dog soap. It took a while to get the stink out of his coat, I suspect that he thinks it was worth it.
But on enquiring of our marine biology lab up the road, it seems that they're much more common than in the past, our waters here are on average 4 deg c warmer than they were 10 years ago and we're seeing marine species changes that are unprecedented. I do hope the Fairy Penguins stay though.

John Welsford

No sunfish sightings here that I'm aware of... but we do now see far more Great White sharks than we used to. Not pleased...

Rich Jones
09-02-2018, 08:21 PM
We see them here several times a year. They look ungainly, yet leap clear of the water with some regularity.

Kevin


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro I was sitting on the beach down by you many years ago and spotted that fin sticking out of the water. Lifeguard assured us it wasn't a shark!

lupussonic
09-03-2018, 07:12 AM
We have had them in Cornwall forever. Not sure if tropical variety though. Wouldn't amaze me to see one drift up to Scotland.

JamesCaird
09-03-2018, 07:42 AM
Have seen them with regularity in summer in Cape Cod Bay and Massachusetts Bay, Lat 42N. Also ran over one and chopped it up once in Gulf of Maine at about 44N. Went back to see what we had hit and brought some chunks on board. Pretty messy stuff, some of it spongy and oily. Cheers/ JC

Rum_Pirate
09-03-2018, 07:46 AM
Have seen them with regularity in summer in Cape Cod Bay and Massachusetts Bay, Lat 42N. Also ran over one and chopped it up once in Gulf of Maine at about 44N. Went back to see what we had hit and brought some chunks on board. Pretty messy stuff, some of it spongy and oily. Cheers/ JC

:o|:(:o

Art Haberland
09-03-2018, 07:46 AM
I have never seen one here.. but some of my co-workers were talking about somebody spotting a barracuda up here just this past week. Water is warmer than usual and the jellies are doing their best to keep people out. Back in July we had a Man-o-war wash up a few towns down.

David W Pratt
09-03-2018, 10:22 AM
I've seen one basking off Martha's Vinyard, and off Pt. Judith. Both sightings >20 years ago

Bobcat
09-03-2018, 11:01 AM
I saw them off the Oregon coast in the early '80's. They drift on their sides with a long pectoral fin raised up in the air. Odd looking things

leikec
09-03-2018, 01:07 PM
That sunfish might be a little tough to catch on a fly rod...

Jeff C

Rum_Pirate
09-03-2018, 01:13 PM
I've only ever seen one, albeit several years ago.
It was a fairly large one - to me as it was about +/-5'0" long and tall - near the surface, fins totally underwater.
We followed it in the boat for several minutes.
Absolutely wonderful and stunning creature.

Art Haberland
09-03-2018, 01:26 PM
I have never seen one here.. but some of my co-workers were talking about somebody spotting a barracuda up here just this past week.

I stand corrected. Somebody caught a barracuda here in NJ

https://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/sports/local/fishing_boating/beesleys-point-man-catches-barracuda-off-townsends-inlet/article_b97f7ea7-588e-50e0-ab06-03daf8e6236e.html

lupussonic
09-03-2018, 02:22 PM
I lifted one clean out of the water once, it was about the size of an average car tyre, about 18" across. It's dorsal fin kept flapping me in the face while I tried to stop laughing. When it expunged a tranpsarent goo from everywhere, I let it go poor sod.

Owing to limited evolutionary swimming elan, they are mostly drifters, but not without a small amount of propulsion / steerage.

But most definitely not eaters. Being made of cartilage, rubber and goo is also a form of defense.

Art Haberland
09-03-2018, 05:28 PM
I always wondered how the wonderful sunfish sailboat got it's name from these ungainly fish?

sharpiefan
09-03-2018, 06:20 PM
I always wondered how the wonderful sunfish sailboat got it's name from these ungainly fish?

Maybe it was named from the freshwater sunfish, aka bluegill, redear, pumpkinseed, green, longear, et al ad infinitum a plethora of local names. All small, tough, feisty, and a lot of fun.....