Enormous monkfish and coconut among unusual landings

Fish normally found in Azores also netted

The 40 kg monkfish landed into Rossaveal, Co Galway, by Declan Clinton and crew of the fishing vessel Virtuous earlier this week. Photograph: Siubhan Ní Churraidhín

The 40 kg monkfish landed into Rossaveal, Co Galway, by Declan Clinton and crew of the fishing vessel Virtuous earlier this week. Photograph: Siubhan Ní Churraidhín

 

An enormous monkfish, a giant lobster, a coconut and a fish that normally swims around the Azores have all been netted by Irish fishing vessels over the past few days.

The monkfish was caught on the Porcupine Bank by Declan Clinton and his crew on the fishing vessel, Virtuous and landed into Rossaveal, Co Galway. It weighed 40 kilograms when gutted.

A Galway vessel Martins Marie also landed a lobster weighing almost three kilograms, with a 154mm carapace, while another vessel, Ocean Breeze, landed a coconut into Rossaveal last night.

Rare fish expert Declan Quigley says the coconut’s outer casing suggested it may have arrived here naturally from the Tropics, rather than having been dumped overboard a vessel or washed out to sea from Irish shores.

The outer casing or “pericarp” adds natural buoyancy to coconuts in order to aid seed dispersal via the marine environment, Mr Quigley explained.

As it was caught in a demersal trawl, it may have been at sea for some time and had lost buoyancy due to damage by boring organisms.There have been several coconuts previously recorded in Irish waters, but they were were stranded, mainly during winter months and after prolonged south-west gales, he said.

Late last month, a fish normally found around Madeira and the Azores was landed into Rossaveal by the Arkh Angell . It is believed to be a Beryx Splendens, which is rare in northern European waters.