Sunfish, Mola Mola, Seville University, Marine Biology Lab, Spanish Enclave, Ceuta

Sunfish, Mola Mola

'I was stunned': Scientists assess massive sunfish caught in tuna nets in Mediterranean Sea

'I was stunned': Scientists assess massive sunfish caught in tuna nets in Mediterranean Sea

23/10/2021 6:20:00 AM

'I was stunned': Scientists assess massive sunfish caught in tuna nets in Mediterranean Sea

A marine biologist called into to assess the 3.2 metre-long creature said his team first tried to put it on a 1,000-kilogram scale, but it would have broken it. See its inspection and release.

Key points:Scientists carefully manoeuvred the sunfish aboard their boat to take measurements and DNA samplesA marine biologist says he had read about sunfish growing to this size but never thought he would touch one so largeThe fish was returned to the water smoothly after being untangled from fishing nets

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The mammoth sunfish, a species classed as vulnerable and not eaten in Europe, was 3.2 metres long and 2.9 metres wide, Mr Ostale said in an interview on Thursday.He had been called in to assess the find, a record for the area which, due to tides and sunfish migratory patterns, has no shortage of such encounters.

"We tried to put it on the 1,000kg scale but it was too heavy. It would've broken it," he said.Mr Ostale heads Seville University's marine biology laboratory in the Spanish enclave of Ceuta, on the north coast of Africa."Based off its corpulence — and compared with other catches — it must've weighed around 2 tonnes. headtopics.com

"It's normal to see large fishes, but not this big."Sunfish returns to dark depthsAfter being freed from the net the massive fish swam away into the ocean dark.(Supplied: University of Seville)The fish was first isolated in an underwater chamber attached to the boat before being lifted aboard using a crane, where it stayed for a few minutes while Mr Ostale and his fellow biologists took measurements, photographs and DNA samples.

With dark grey skin, rounded grooves in its flanks and a large, prehistoric-looking head, this particular specimen was likely a Read more: ABC News »

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