Massive dead sunfish washes up on Ameland shore

Photo: RTZ & Dierenambulance Ameland via Facebook
Photo: RTZ & Dierenambulance Ameland via Facebook

A dead tropical sunfish measuring almost two metres across has washed up on the Wadden Sea island of Ameland, local rescue workers said on Facebook.

The fish is one of the biggest sunfish ever seen along the Dutch coast. It will be taken to the Naturalis natural history museum in Leiden for further research.

Sunfish have a characteristic jerky way of swimming and their shape gives the impression they consisting of only a head. They can grow to four metres long and weigh up to 1,000 kilos, making them the heaviest bony fish on earth.

Last year, a live sunfish was found swimming in a corner of the main port on the island of Texel and taken to seal rescue centre Ecomare to recuperate.

Naturalis has a sunfish on display which washed up on Ameland precisely 132 years ago. That fish was 2.23 metres long and 2.73 metres high.

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