The fishermen were not astonished, nor were the biologists who participated in their release. They had never seen a sunfish of such dimensions before, a specimen of such monstrous size that even the scale fell short.
It appeared on October 4 trapped in a trap 500 meters off the coast of Ceuta. As soon as the Ceuta fishermen issued the alert, a team from the Marine Biology Laboratory from the University of Seville.
Together with Swiss researchers, these biologists monitor the population of sunfish that pass through Ceuta with the aim of “to differentiate with morphological and genetic precision between the two species Great great and Mola alexandrini that are very susceptible to being confused “, explains José Carlos García Gómez, professor of Marine Biology at the University of Seville “.” This specimen in question belongs to the last species, “he detailed to questions from FARO.
Biologists had to work around the clock to collect tall the details about the exceptional bug. Because the scientific task had to be carried out without endangering the life of the animal, And this one didn’t make things easy for them either.
“It may have weighed a lot more.”
Removing it from the nets where it had been trapped was the simplest maneuver: the most complicated, when trying to hoist it to the surface. The fishermen needed two cranes to land it on a boat where the scientists waited to start the measurements.
With everyone present gaping at the magnitude of the sunfish, experts soon discovered that their means of documenting the monster fell short. They could hardly measure its length –from mouth to tail fin, 2.90 meters, and between the fins 3.20 m-, and the weigh-in was quite an odyssey. “The weight that was partially registered was 1,000 kg but it was an error,” says the professor. And it is that they only had a scale for one ton, so “it may have weighed a lot more,” he acknowledges.
Without being very common, sightings of sunfish They are not rare in Galician waters. Although of the other variety, the Great great, and nowhere near as huge as the one in Ceuta.