Albino monkfish and box crab caught off west coast


Two unusual marine species have been landed into south Connemara.

An albino monkfish and a box crab were caught in separate locations off the west coast in recent days and taken for identification to Rossaveal, Co Galway.

The albino monkfish was located by skipper Colin Reynolds of the Co Louth vessel Fragrant Cloud while fishing for prawns on the Aran Islands grounds. The box crab was discovered by Inishturk fisherman Michael O’Toole while potting for crabs and lobsters off the stags of Inishbofin.

Marine biologist Siubhán Ní Churraidhín noted the monkfish was the second to be landed into Rossaveal in recent years.

Weighing 1-2kg, it was larger than would have been expected for such a vulnerable fish which would be exposed to predators due to its pigmentation, she said.

The box crab was taken to Galway Atlantaquaria, but it did not survive the night. The shellfish is normally found in water more than 200m deep and is quite delicate.

Meanwhile, a pod of orcas or killer whales sighted since June 1st off the Donegal and Antrim coasts is believed to be a returning family, according to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group. The mammals are part of a Scottish west coast community recorded in these waters since 2005, the group said.