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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-12-2006, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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Mola Mola

This is a strange looking fish,the ocean sunfish (mola mola).Just recently,one was caught here in Newfoundland waters.They are not common here,but they come when the waters warm up abit to feed.Fisherman here sometimes see them floating or basking at the top of the waters.

They are one of the worlds largest fish and are some of the heaviest fishes.They are in the family of bony fishes.The record holder is a 10 ft (3.1 meters) long speciman that weighed 2235 kg (4927 lbs).That was caught in 1995.

Enjoy these pics...



















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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-12-2006, 11:32 PM
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wow, that's terrifying to look at ( i can't swim and i'm afraid of ANYTHING in the water with me, i think i saw too many jaws movies as a kid) but also amazing as a creature of nature. i hope they're not used as food? what elegance, like whale sharks.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-12-2006, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mulder
wow, that's terrifying to look at ( i can't swim and i'm afraid of ANYTHING in the water with me, i think i saw too many jaws movies as a kid) but also amazing as a creature of nature. i hope they're not used as food? what elegance, like whale sharks.
They are creepy looking fish,aren't they!? However I just cannot stop looking at pictures of them and researching them.They are a fascinating fish!

This is what I found about,in regards to eating them...

"One factor that the mola can appreciate is that it is not highly demanded in the food market. For some reason the thousands of parasites that it hosts does not appeal to human appetites. Although it has been known to sell in Japan, the demand is not great (McCann 1961). Unfortunately molas are occasionally caught in fishing nets. In 1992, one Spanish drift net fleet in particular caught several molas comprising of 71% of their total catch, though their target was for swordfish (Silvani; Gazo 1999). Not only does the mola need to swim from fishnets but also from white sharks. A mola was found in the belly of one great white shark and the evidence came as three torn remnants (Fergusson et al, 1999). Although white sharks are generalist feeders, it does not seem to have a history of preying on molas (Fergusson et al, 1999). Maybe it was mistaken for a surfboard.
Because the mola is closely related to the poisonous puffer fish, questions may arise on whether the mola or other tetraodontiformes are poisonous. Tests show that neither the mola, or many other tetraodontiformes have high enough levels of toxicity like that of a spiny puffer fish (Saito et al. 1991).
As for nutrients, the mola is of high quality protein containing a majority of the essential amino acids. The fat content is relatively low, and only half of the molas body weight is water (Ara et al. 1994)."


Newfoundland is rich in fishing culture,but the fishermen here don't harvest them,the fish sometimes get caught in the nets.

I also read that they are not aggressive fish,but very docile and calm.





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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-12-2006, 11:56 PM
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that's incredible. i suppose then it's like dolphins, if it gets caugh tin the net it's just s.o.l.?? at least our hunger won't endanger them.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-13-2006, 08:40 AM
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Wow that is such a cool looking fish! thanks for the pictures.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-13-2006, 08:57 AM
 
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Very interesting fish! Thanks for sharing.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-13-2006, 09:03 AM
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They are beautiful and they look so peaceful.
Here is some more information...

It has rough, sandpapery skin covered with mucus. Its average weight is one ton. Its tiny mouth cannot be closed and its top and bottom teeth are fused to form a beak. It has a round, bulging eye, and its skin is extremely thick and elastic. Ocean sunfish are commonly mistaken for sharks, because they often swim close to the surface and have dorsal fins that come out from the water, like the dorsal fins of sharks. They are found in warm and temperate zones of all oceans, including the eastern Pacific and the eastern and western Atlantic. There are three to five species of Mola. Sunfish eat jellyfishes, salps, zooplankton, squid, and crustaceans. These types of food is packed with proteins and thats why because of its huge appetite is the reason why molas can grow larger than any other bony fish. Molas can produce more than 300 million eggs and the fry look like little pufferfish. They are thought to live for about 10 years.
Sometimes molas are spotted floating sideways on the sea surface. Although most scientists are still puzzled at this behavior, it is commonly thought that they are basking in the sun and not sick or unhealthy. Some observers have seen sea birds like gulls picking parasites off of them. This fish is host to more dermal parasites than that of any other marine creature. That could explain why they do this. Some observers have seen mola flip over onto its other side after the gull has picked off its parasites, giving the bird a chance to have more food, and the mola a chance to have the bugs picked off of its body. They are reported to jump up to ten feet out of the water. Molas also seek drifting kelp in search of small fish to remove their abundant parasites. They have also been seen breaching like whales do.

Very interesting creatures. Thanks for those pictures Lisa

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-13-2006, 06:19 PM
 
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Wow, yes, very interesting, thanks for the pics and info guys.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-15-2006, 01:04 AM
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I love those fish, quite extraordinary and captivating!! They KINDA remind me of Tetra's, not exactly obviously, but remind me of them!!

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Last edited by GeishaGirl; 11-15-2006 at 01:06 AM.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-15-2006, 01:52 AM
 
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Wow! Thanks for the info, that's pretty neat! I've never heard of them before
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