Sun, 05 Dec 2021

4,000 pound sunfish caught in tuna nets, released back to sea

Robert Besser
26 Oct 2021, 19:45 GMT+10

Autonomous Ceuta, Spain: A 4,000 pound sunfish was released after being caught in a fishing net off of autonomous Ceuta, Spain.

The fish was caught in the nets of a tuna-fishing boat off the coast of Ceuta, which is an autonomous Spanish port city bordering Morocco.

Before releasing it, sailors measured the sunfish as 10.5 feet long and 9.5 feet wide.
Enrique Ostale of the University of Seville's Marine Biology Lab in Ceuta said the fish probably weighed 4,400 pounds.

"We tried to weigh it, but we just had a scale up to one thousand kilograms, and in this case, we couldn't use it because it was going to break," he told CNN.
By coincidence, Ostale and his research team had been studying sunfish, when the enormous specimen was caught.

Researchers had to use a crane to lift the sunfish. They then measured its dimensions and took close pictures and DNA samples.

"We had seen it in a book and in scientific articles, and to have it there, to tell you the truth, I was very impressed," Ostale said. "Above all, you also have to imagine the stress that is created in the aspect that we are at sea, we are on a boat, the animal is alive, we have to pass it quickly in the open sea while nobody gets hurt."

The sunfish had dark gray skin and rounded grooves in its flanks, which led Ostale to think it was of the species Mola alexandrini.

"I see, on one hand, the luck of finding it and finding it alive, and enjoying it, and swimming with it," he said. "On the other hand, we also were lucky since it was difficult to manage with the cranes, because we have to think that we were on a boat, that we were in the middle of the sea, and an accident can always happen."

More Massachusetts News

Access More

Sign up for Massachusetts State News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!