Capture of 2-Ton Giant Sunfish Provides Rare Sighting Before Being Released Back Into Ocean

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In one of our recent Instagram posts, we show a video of a beautiful sunfish that was caught by a group of Spanish fishers on October 4. The marine giant measured 3.2 meters long, 2.9 meters wide, and is estimated to be about two tons. Check out this video!

Isn’t it amazing? The huge fish was caught in a tuna fishing net off the Mediterranean coast of Ceuta, Spain and its size is considered a record for the region. Some biologists were able to evaluate the awesome marine specimen before it was returned to the ocean.

The mammoth fish was too heavy for the one-ton scale that was normally used on the boat and was almost broken because of the animal’s weight.

To release it, the fish had to be separated into an underwater chamber that was attached to the boat. The chamber was hoisted by a winch and remained out of the water for a few minutes, giving the biologists a chance to observe it, take some measurements, take photos, and even some DNA samples.

The biologists think this particular sunfish is an Alexandrine mola — a subspecies of the genus of the molefish. It has a distinctly tortuous hind fin.

This is a very surprising find by all involved because sunfish are usually only found in the depths of the ocean. Sunfish are the heaviest known bony fish and adults typically weigh between 545 and 2,205 lbs. They’re native to tropical waters around the world and their appearance resembles a fish head with a tail where its main body is flattened laterally. They are as tall as they are long when their dorsal and ventral fins are extended.

These beautiful creatures are generalist predators and consume largely small fish, fish larvae, crustaceans, and squid.

At Karmagawa and SaveTheReef we love seeing the planet’s beautiful creatures — and we especially love that the Spanish fishers were kind and responsible enough to return it to the ocean alive. These beautiful giants deserve to live out their lives in peace!

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram and stay informed of what is happening to animals all around the world.

Also … please spread our information so that your friends and family are aware, as well.

Have them watch this powerful video …

The director of this video, Amir Zakeri, created a masterclass for anyone in the Karmagawa and SaveTheReef community who would like to tell visual stories about the causes they care about. If you’re interested, here’s 50% off.  

All proceeds go to great causes, so don’t hesitate. Get started now

What do you think about this rare sighting of one of our planet’s beautiful creatures? Leave a comment below.

(Cover image: Martens Tom/Shutterstock)

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