Monday, July 05, 2010

Strange Fish

Perhaps it's not the best photo of a fish that's ever been taken, I know. This little fish was in a tank behind glass and they wouldn't let me swim in with the fish, not even in my shiny new wetsuit, so this was the best that I could do.

But I'd be willing to bet that you haven't seen one of these before.

It is just a few inches long, and looks more like something that you'd find in a tropical ocean rather than along the coast of Wales.

In fact, we saw it at the splendid Silent World aquarium in Tenby, and there's an interesting story behind it.

It was found flapping about on the tideline at nearby Manorbier, facing certain death. Then it had a stroke of luck. It was found by a local woman who keeps fish and recognised that it was something out of the ordinary.

She tried to get it to swim back out to sea, but it just kept being stranded, so she put it in a polythene bag with some seawater and took it to Silent World.

It's a rare Boarfish, also known as a Zulu Fish, and it had got very lost. Usually they live miles out to sea and in the very, very deep sea - which is why it has such big eyes.

Now it lives in a tank at Silent World, and seems very happy there, though you would expect that it spends a lot of time saying to the other fish "Very bright today, isn't it?"

How it got from the far ocean depths to the beach at Manorbier I'm not sure and - as yet - the fish has chosen not to tell.

It's been lovely weather here in Tenby today so I've been swimming in the sea and trying out my wetsuit - at the moment I'm finding it far easier without it (and just in my swimsuit, you can stop that right now!) but I'm hoping I'll get used to it.


Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

Boarfish are common in deep water of the western English Channel but rarely strays east up the Channel. The fish's large eye and the orange/ red colour is well suited to deep water as the longer wave length of red light is absorbed by water before the blue and greens (which are reflected) and therefore red coloured marine species appear dark or black at depth. The Boarfish, like the John Dory, has a protrusible (telescopic) mouth, which is used for catching small species.

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