Sunfish brightens up Summer

2M. SUN FISH. . . . 11 years-old Oran Harley pictured with his sister Aoife and friend Shane Devine after they found a 2 metre Sun Fish washed up at Culmore Point on Tuesday morning. 0807JM06
2M. SUN FISH. . . . 11 years-old Oran Harley pictured with his sister Aoife and friend Shane Devine after they found a 2 metre Sun Fish washed up at Culmore Point on Tuesday morning. 0807JM06
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These young adventurers had the perfect start to their summer holidays. The young boys excitement was palpable when they encountered the Common Mola Mola fish during their explorations along the banks of the Foyle.

Oran Harley and Shane Devine were playing by the river near Culmore Point when Oran saw the washed up fish.

Also known as an Ocean Sunfish, the Mola Mola is a long flat fish with large dorsal and ventral fins. This speciman was longer than the 11 year olds measuring some two meters.

The young friends immediately set about documenting their find with scientific rigour.

“I couldn’t believe how big it was when I first saw it. I just ran over to it and looked at it for ages. Then we had to go home but when I got out today I was playing and remembered it was here so I ran straight up to it.

“I can’t believe it was still there.”

Oran actually contacted the Derry Journal himself. His mother, Sinead, said: “He is all bizz with himself. It was a great wee find for them. He rang me today asking for The Journal’s number, he kept saying ‘We need to tell people about this.’ He just wants everyone to know about it.”

The young boys even recorded a news report on their find on their mobile phones. “They are getting good mileage out of it,” laughed mum Sinead. “I only hope the rest of their summer holiday is as exciting.”

Oran said: “I always play down here and I’ve never found anything as big as this.”

A fully grown Ocean Sunfish can weigh up to 1, 000kgs. Though normally at home in tropical waters, sightings of Sunfish in local waters are becoming more common.

Though Sunfish are considered a delicacy in some Far East markets, the sale of their meat is banned within the EU.