Random Jottings

Old news...new news or just a quiet news day?

I do tend to look through various media outlets to see if there is anything interesting out there and I spotted this one a few days ago............

It seems that 'tropical' sunfish are a rare visitor to our waters....

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-45388695

And whilst I agree that they may not be 'common' I am not sure that I subscribe to the statement that they are especially rare, I personally have seen sunfish on three occasions from boats and if you compare this to sightings of other purely aquatic species that is a rather high number.......for example I have never seen any species of 'real' sharks here in the UK, be that blue, porbeagle, etc.

The thing to bear in mind here is that they are really only going to be seen when they are on the surface and their fin is in the air where it could be spotted by a passing boat, that means that there is an awfully big water column wher they simply wont register.....see that blip on your sonar? It could be a sunfish, seal, shark or shoal of fish!

I have a couple of interesting books about the basking shark fisheries that operated around the Hebrides in the late 40's and early 50's and the tome authored by Gavin Maxwell, the guy responsible for the 'Ring of Bright Water' book about otters, has a very interesting post-script about 'sea-monsters', well more specifically odd-ball creatures and whilst the beluga or white whale gets only a couple of mentions the sunfish is addressed in a rather dismissive fashion, as if regular sea-goers were quick to recognise the difference between a sunfish and basking shark fin.

On writing this article I am minded that the book 'Harpoon at a Venture' listed some books which I was going to track down, with one being written by a guy who was trying to get to the bottom of the sea-serpent myth....is it a real creature or just a rather large squid on the surface!

Happy reading and research and don't forget to....................

Dive safe

RichW

 

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