Fishermen from Tripoli caught a huge Ocean Sunfish weighing more than 1000Kg this morning and people got outraged about it since it is a threatened specie of fish that feeds on jellyfish and poses absolutely no danger to divers.
In my humble opinion, I believe it is the authorities who should be blamed about such things because it seems like they allow anybody to go fish anything they encounter in the sea. It is true the Ocean Sunfish can be mistaken for a shark sometimes due to its dorsal fin, but fishermen should be educated enough about the species that should not be caught, and should also learn how to differentiate one from the other before given permission to work.
Aside from being endangered or not, fishermen should refrain from killing inedible species, and even if they did by mistake then they should get rid of it instead of selling it in the market, which unfortunately is not the case with this Sunfish! According to Wikipedia, it is not yet confirmed whether the Ocean Sunfish has some poisonous organs or not, so I wouldn’t take a chance trying to eat it. However, several photos on Facebook showed the fish being cut and sold at some fish market in Tripoli.
This is basically similar to witnessing a donkey or a sick cow being killed at the Karantina Slaughterhouse… I doubt such thing would go unnoticed and so should be trading this fish.
I just hope no one gets poisoned from consuming it, and I also the authorities invest a little more into educating the fishermen in order to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.
Photos via Michel Bariche
As per the below memo, Governor of North Lebanon Judge Ramzi Nohra ordered the confiscation of this fish meat due to it being poisonous, in addition to ban killing such endangered species. Such memos and decisions are definitely better late than never!
via Animal Animals Lebanon FB Page.