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Anglers Pull in Tropical Fish from the Baltic

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Fishermen in northern Germany have found an ocean sunfish in the Baltic Sea -- an odd habitat for the species, which usually lives in tropical waters. The specimen died soon after it was found and is now in the hands of researchers at the German Maritime Museum.

Most fishers traversing the frigid waters of the Baltic Sea aren't used to signs of the tropics. So when fishermen off the island of Rügen pulled in their nets and found an ocean sunfish -- native to the tropical and sub-tropical waters of the Atlantic -- they knew something was amiss.

The fish was barely clinging onto life when they found it on Tuesday. After it perished on board, they put it on ice and took it to the island's coastal town of Sassnitz, where it was then taken to be studied at the German Maritime Museum in nearby Stralsund.

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That is strange how a tropical fish was found in cold water. Make you wonder it the fish got lost or was in a strong current that pushed the fish there.

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The Gulfstream ends up near Ireland. Perhaps the fish was sick or weakened, and the current carried it north?

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The Gulfstream ends up near Ireland. Perhaps the fish was sick or weakened, and the current carried it north?

Doubtful, the stream flows out of the Baltic (as shown by its low salinity).

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The Gulfstream ends up near Ireland. Perhaps the fish was sick or weakened, and the current carried it north?

Sun Fish are becoming increasingly common in Irish Coastal waters.

Br Cornelius

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Sunfish are fairly common around the Southern Coasts of England - as a keen Sea angler some 30 years ago, I have seen several.

A quick "Google" shows that their range is much broader than might be thought - 10C Water Temperature seems to be the limiting factor to their range, and another Google search on water temperatures for the Baltic Sea reveals that it does get up to 18C in the summer months.

That the fish was distressed when caught is probably due to the quite sudden reduction in Sea water temperatures at this time of year.

The only unusual thing here is that fishermen caught one, and reported it. Another unusual thing is that Sunfish can attain 1000lbs in weight!! Fish and Chips anyone?? :clap:

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