Around our Shores: The Ocean Sunfish (Mola Mola)
Every summer, from somewhere around our British coast, come reports of the sighting or capture of the large oddly shaped Sunfish. Growing to seven or eight feet in length, and often weighing up to a ton, the Mola mola makes for an impressive sight basking on the sea surface.
Its teeth are fused into a beak-like structure, and it feeds on a diet consisting mainly of vast quantities of jellyfish. This allows it to develop and maintain its great bulk. You'll certainly not find many aquariums capable of housing one!
Females of this species can produce more eggs than any other known vertebrate, up to 300,000,000 at a time. Sunfish fry resemble miniature pufferfish, with large pectoral fins, a tail fin, and body spines uncharacteristic of adult sunfish.
Belonging to the Molidae family, the common mola is the heaviest known bony fish in the world. In the EU, regulations ban the sale of fish and fishery products derived from the family Molidae, although Sunfish are frequently caught in gillnets.
A magnificent sight, Sunfish are truly a spectacular spot around our shores!