A man-sized Mola mola sunfish—a large and unusually-shaped fish species—washed ashore in Boac, Marinduque early Wednesday morning, March 1.
According to GMA News stringer Hero Peewee Bacuño, local fishermen caught the 5.41-foot-long (1.6-meter-long) creature near the shore of Barangay Tabigue.
The ailing fish died before it could be released back into the wild.
GMA NEWS: Isang Sunfish o Mola ang napadpad ng buhay sa baybayin ng Tabigue, Boac, Marinduque kanina. Nanghihina na ito...Posted by Peewee C. Bacuño on Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Officials from the Marinduque Animal and Wildlife Rescue Emergency Response Team and local officials from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) were called to investigate the sunfish, which was found to have likely died due to a heavy infestation of parasitic worms.
This may also have been the reason why the creature found its way close to shore and wound up in the fishermen's nets.
The Mola mola is the heaviest known bony fish in the world, capable of reaching up to 1,000 kg in weight. It lives in tropical and temperate waters around the world, and mostly eats jellyfish.
It is classified as "vulnerable" by the IUCN. — TJD, GMA News