Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dying Sunfish Caught Off Mandaue

"Oh what a cute big fish", "oh poor fish"!

Those were some of the reactions in the restaurant when that fish was shown on GMAs local TV news last night. It was a bit noisy in the restaurant and the news language was a fast and pure bisaya so I could not understand every word. But one thing was clear... it was a big big dying fish.

Reporter said it was estimated to be about 100 kilos and that it was already very weak with some kind of head injury. Also estimated to be so many years old. Oh poor fish! It was not actually caught on purpose or by accident. Its said to have just floated at the Mactan Channel under the bridge and local folks took it out of curiosity.

What happened? Was it just really time for that sunfish to die? Did something cause it to do what it did - like float into people's lives? Was it lost - probably due to a head injury? Those were just some of the many questions that floated around as we ate dinner - mainly fish hehe!

And what an apt news to come by, happening on the very day the Cebu Tourism Congress was being held with the theme "Go Green Cebu" to help the global thrust on environment preservation!

A man from the authorities interviewed said the poor fish was about to die. An ocean-something advocate was interviewed too in the same news report and he said it should not be eaten and better preserved for study purposes. We all agree. And we're curious and will probably keep an open ear as to where it goes and what will be done to it. The sheer enormity of its size was enough to tickle our curiosity esp that it floated on a very busy and narrow sea lane.

Ah technology! While the news was fresh and while we were still midway through our dinner, some already started tapping on their keyboards to know more about sunfish. Hey pictures of this fish on the web seem to indicate they are all big. Are they? Full name of the creature is Ocean Sunfish. Is there a lake or river sunfish therefore? Ah hehe! It is also called "Mola Mola" as mentioned in the news and we see on the web that indeed it is. The term "mola mola" is even used internationally it seems. Whoa, there is even a website (oceansunfish.org) dedicated to this creature. And we learn it is also called "Putol" in this country - due to its form. We also learn that it is the biggest bony fish on earth (whales/sharks are cartilaginous). Hmm, interesting!

And we learn too that the sunfish thrives on jellyfish! Yey for all of us beach bums who don't like jellyfish, yey! But, the bad part... many sunfish die because they eat floating/drifting plastic bags thrown by people out to sea which the sunfishes mistake for the darn dikya! Oh bad. Who knows, maybe that's why the Mola Mola caught yesterday was where it was - probably interested in the many plastic bags that float on the channel? Bad.

Hope GMA7 will publish their video clip via youtube or something else so we can refer to it.

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