Fish out of tropical water! 11ft Ocean Sunfish is filmed in harbour of Kent seaside town… 8,000 miles from its home in the warmer seas off CHILE
- A giant Ocean Sunfish weighing about 2,000 kg was spotted in Ramsgate, Kent
- 11ft long fish usually lives off the coast of Chile and migrated around 7,850 miles
- It may have got lost in the Atlantic Ocean before ending up in the seaside resort
A giant fish usually seen in the warm waters off of Chile has been spotted in Ramsgate.
The Ocean Sunfish is thought to have got lost in the Atlantic and ended up in the Kent seaside resort. The species are among the biggest fish in the world and can weigh up to 2,000kg (4,440lbs) – the same weight as ten dolphins.
They can grow up to 11ft long and get their name because they can swim on their sides to lap up the sun’s rays.
Jon Gosman saw the Ocean Sunfish in the harbour and filmed it using his mobile phone.
The engaged dad-of-two said: ‘It’s something you don’t see every day. One very lost, cold, Sunfish in Ramsgate Harbour. Poor thing.
The Ocean Sunfish was spotted in the harbour of Ramsgate, Kent (pictured) where it is believed to have ended up after getting lost in the Atlantic Ocean
The Ocean Sunfish is likely to have migrated around 7,850 miles from the coast of Chile and got lost in the Atlantic Ocean before landing in Ramsgate harbour
Jon Gosman (pictured) came across the unusual stray fish in Ramsgate and filmed it in action using his mobile phone
‘They lay sideways on the surface because they enjoy the sun. They can swim upright or sideways.’
Ocean Sunfish are on The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.
Their numbers are dwindling because they get caught in nets and can suffocate in plastic in the sea.
They are also considered a delicacy in countries like Japan and Taiwan.
Ocean Sunfish can measure 14 feet and weigh as much as 5,000lbs, and they inhabit tropical and temperate oceans.
In 2019, fishermen found a huge sunfish along the South Australian coast with an estimated length of 2.5 metres
Ocean Sunfish migrate to Iceland and have been seen in UK waters before. But they are usually spotted off our coasts in the summer months when the sea is warmer.
Mr Gosman added: ‘They like warm water so it’s not gonna make it.’
The sunfish, also called the Mola mola, is the world’s heaviest bony fish featuring a fish head and flattened body.
It can measure 14 feet and weigh as much as 5,000lbs, and they inhabit tropical and temperate oceans.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium, in a species description, states: ‘Ocean sunfish, or molas, look like the invention of a mad scientist.’
They feed primarily on jellies but will also eat squid and small fish. Large number of molas have also been spotted off the coast of California, which could be attributed to the increase in the population of gelatinous creatures called salps in the water.
What are the Ocean Sunfish or ‘Mola mola’?
Ocean Sunfish, or Mola mola, are the heaviest of all the bony fish, with large specimens reaching 14 feet (4.2 meters) vertically and 10 feet (3.1 meters) horizontally and weighing nearly 5,000 pounds (2,268 kilograms). Sharks and rays can be heavier, but they’re cartilaginous fish.
Sunfish develop their truncated, bullet-like shape because the back fin which they are born with simply never grows. Instead, it folds into itself as the enormous creature matures, creating a rounded rudder called a clavus.
Mola in Latin means ‘millstone’ and describes the ocean sunfish’s somewhat circular shape. They are a silvery color and have a rough skin texture.
Mola are found in temperate and tropical oceans around the world. They are frequently seen basking in the sun near the surface and are often mistaken for sharks when their huge dorsal fins emerge above the water.
Their teeth are fused into a beak-like structure, and they are unable to fully close their relatively small mouths.
Source: National Geographic