October 16, 2013
Giant Oarfish Found Off Catalina
By Phil Bourjaily
Here's a fish story that made national news: Jasmine Santana, a marine science teacher, came face to face with an oarfish in 15 feet of water off Catalina island in southern California. At 18 feet long, even a dead oarfish is a scary thing to run into. Once she realized what it was, Santana took the fish by the tail and dragged it to shore where she needed the help of 14 other people to lift the 400 pound carcass. Tissue samples were taken and the skeleton of the fish will be preserved. The fish appeared to have died of natural causes.
Oarfish are deep water dwellers found at depths as great as 3,000 feet.They are the longest bony fish and are thought to reach up to 50 feet in length. They are rarely seen and little is known about them but deepwater cameras have filmed oarfish in the ocean. They move by rippling their long dorsal fin and feed on small shrimp.