Rare Sunfish found on Skegness beach

Sunfish, pictured by Gary Bennett
Sunfish, pictured by Gary Bennett
  • Fisherman finds strange looking fish during stroll
  • Expert says discovery is ‘extremely rare’
  • Creature is heaviest of all bony fish - and its favourite food is jellyfish
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A keen fisherman has been left scratching his head after finding a strange looking specimen on the beach at Skegness.

Gary Bennett was enjoying a post-Christmas stroll with his wife Hazel when he came across what he believes to be an Ocean Sunfish.

Brooke and Rihanna Hamilton and Edouard Hardy were also out for a walk when they spotted the Sunfish. Picture: Jayne Hardy

Brooke and Rihanna Hamilton and Edouard Hardy were also out for a walk when they spotted the Sunfish. Picture: Jayne Hardy

“Me and my wife went up to Chapel St Leonards and were walking towards Ingoldmells and I just came across this large thing on the beach,” explained Gary, 53, from Burgh le Marsh.

“I do a lot of fishing down there and it isn’t a fish native to our shores.

“It didn’t look like 
it had been dumped. It looked liked it had been washed 
up.”

Gary took a picture and decided to research what he had found - and came to the conclusion it was an Ocean Sunfish (also known as a Mola), which are more common in tropical and warmer waters.

“I put the picture up on Facebook and told my mates ‘I’ve found Nemo!’.”

Fisherman Gary Bennett

The odd looking creature is the heaviest of all bony fish - and its favourite food is jellyfish.

Gary said: “I put the picture up on Facebook and told my mates ‘I’ve found 
Nemo!’.”

He added: “It’s just a puzzle - I would be interested to know how it got there.”

Curator at Skegness Aquarium Stacy Adams described the discovery as ‘extremely rare’.

She said: “My guess would be that it is a juvenile that has lost its way or has been washed up in the stormy weather.

“The last recorded sighting around here was a few years ago now.

“It’s an Atlantic species. You do sometimes get them off the south and west coast of the UK but that is an extremely rare sighting there as well.

“They are a really bizarre looking fish.

“It is believed they are shaped like they are so they can lay on their side and then the sun’s rays warm the fish up.”