Rare oarfish washes up at Chintsa East

Sheila Gill with the unusual oarfish that was found at Chintsa East on Wednesday.
SECURED SPECIMEN: Sheila Gill with the unusual oarfish that was found at Chintsa East on Wednesday.
Image: SUPPLIED

An “oarsome” discovery in the form of a highly unusual fish was made at Chintsa East on Wednesday. An oarfish measuring 1.56m washed ashore on the beach, and was reported to the East London Museum by resident Geoff Philipps.

“It was alive when first sighted,” said museum scientist Kevin Cole.

“Sheila Gill of Chintsa East responded quickly to secure the specimen for the museum collection and kindly retrieved it from the surf zone.

“The fish identification was confirmed to be an oarfish.

“This is only the second recorded since 2008 and the third for the museum.”

Cole said these fish had a worldwide distribution and lived in tropical and temperate seas.

“Most noticeable when alive is the brilliant silver colour of the head and body with crimson dorsal and pelvic fins.”

An oarfish found at Gonubie is on display at the museum in the marine gallery.

johnh@dispatch.co.za

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