PIC: Whoa! Rare oarfish washes up near Mossel Bay

2016-07-06 13:30 - Louzel Lombard
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Cape Town - A rare oarfish washed up on a beach near Hartenbos in the Garden Route on Tuesday, 5 July, but unfortunately died minutes after surfacing.

According to a marine biologist from Oceans Research in Mossel Bay, the fish is hardly ever seen and not commonly found in Mossel Bay waters. Enrico Genarri told Algoa FM that beach-goers who might come across another oarfish in the area, must keep it in shallow water and report the finding.

He says the Oceans Research team will then tag the fish, and release it, in order to gain more information about this rare species.   

The 1.3m oarfish was seen coming out with a wave and washing up on the beach, before dying on the shore. 

A photo was taken after the fish had died. Check it out: 

Oarfish are large, greatly elongated fish that can grow up to 18m.

The dorsal fin of the fish originates from above the eyes and runs the entire length of the fish. Of the approximately 400 dorsal fin rays, the first 10 to 13 are elongated to varying degrees, forming a trailing crest embellished with reddish spots and flaps of skin at the ray tips, as seen in the photo above. 

They are found in all temperate to tropical oceans, but are very rarely seen. It is the longest bony fish alive, and can weigh up to 270kg. 

In May last week, more than 35 tiny loggerhead turtles were rescued off the beaches of the Garden Route, from Tergniet to Gouritsmond, after washing ashore due to an ice cold ocean current and rough seas in the area.

SEE: PIC: Rough sea washes up tiny Loggerhead turtles in Garden Route
The turtles are currently being rehabilitated at Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town. 

Have you spotted any weird activity along SA's coasts? Send us your photos on Twitter, Facebookor Instagram, or email us at info@traveller24.co.za

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