Fishermen would be happy if they could catch a fish weighing a thousand pounds, but they would not be happy if they caught a sunfish.
In fact, most fishermen release sunfish after catching it. For example, in early May, a fisherman from Jilin caught a 1-ton sunfish, and he was not only unhappy, but also released the sunfish with a look of disgust.
Why don't most fishermen like sunfish? Is it because the name is unlucky? Let's talk about this interesting topic.
1. What is the sacred sunfish?
Mola is the common name of Mola Fish, is a large marine fish under the genus Funa of the Funa family, looks like a large round cake, body length up to 3~5 meters, weight of 1.4~3.5 tons, proper large marine life.
However, the sunfish is not a marine beast, on the contrary, it is simply harmless to humans and animals, indisputable to the world, and slowly floats around in the sea all day.
Why do sunfish float in the ocean? This is because its swimming speed is too slow, and it can only parade 1.5~2.5 kilometers an hour, which is completely incompatible with its huge size.
From the shape of the sunfish, there are hardly any organs conducive to a rapid parade. Its tail and dorsal fins are relatively small and do not help much.
Different countries have different names for the sunfish, but they can highlight its physical features, such as the Latin called the sunfish "millstone", German called it "swimming head", and the Polish is more direct, called the sunfish "only head".
Not only that, the teeth of the sunfish have all degenerated, and only the throat area has "pharyngeal teeth" used to grind food. Usually, you can only feed on jellyfish that swim very slowly and have a soft body, just like jellyfish.
There are several other names for sunfish, such as moonfish or sunfish. It is called a moonfish because its body is round oval and often surrounded by a group of glowing creatures. From a distance, the sunfish looks like a full moon.
Molas are called sunfish because they like to bask in the sun, and in order to bask in the sun, sunfish have to float to the surface every day from a depth of 800 meters. Sun exposure can help it remove parasites from the body, and can also raise body temperature and replenish heat.
2. Why don't fishermen like sunfish?
The reason why the sunfish is called "sunfish" is because with its parade speed, whether it is predatory predation or fishermen fishing, it is easy to win, in other words, the sunfish is easy to overturn.
In fact, marine beasts can easily hunt a sunfish. A wildlife photographer once captured a sea lion preying on a sunfish while photographing marine life:
Not only that, sunfish are often caught by fishermen, and more than 340,000 sunfish are caught by fishermen every year in the waters of South Africa alone. In some areas, the amount of overcatch even exceeds the target target of fishing vessels.
The problem is, most fishermen who catch sunfish are not happy, and they usually release sunfish alive. There are three reasons for this:
Fishing is for eating, and for deliciousness, but the meat of the sunfish has nothing to do with good taste, and even very unpalatable, some people say that the meat of the sunfish is like the old skin of the heel.
Not only that, the meat of the sunfish contains a lot of gum, lack of protein and fat, which means that it is not only not delicious, but also not nutritious, fishermen certainly do not like such fish.
Of course, some countries have a peculiar pursuit of food, and people in some countries will also catch sunfish to eat, mainly eating the intestines of sunfish, but after all, the few who eat sunfish are a minority.
The meat of the sunfish is unpalatable, and the most direct result is that no one buys its meat, so for fishermen, there is almost no market for sunfish, and even if they are brought back, they cannot be sold.
However, sunfish can be used to process feed or refine oils to produce cod liver oil. However, the meat of the sunfish is less nutritious and can be used less.
We mentioned earlier that adult sunfish can weigh up to two or three tons, which is a big guy. After the catch is on board, it is necessary to have a large space to store, and a large amount of ice or other refrigeration equipment is used to keep it fresh.
Many fishing vessels stay at sea for a longer period of time and do not return until enough of the target catch has been caught. Molas will occupy more fishing vessel resources, and the cost of storage and transportation is higher.
3. Why is the sunfish not extinct?
The ocean is a competitive environment where the jungle eats the jungle and big fish eat small fish, and larger fish are either fierce marine beasts or have powerful means of self-preservation, otherwise it is difficult to survive.
The sunfish has a huge size, but not only does it have no means of attack, it even swims very slowly, so how did the big guy survive in such a harsh environment as the ocean?
The reason why sunfish have not gone extinct to this day is mainly because they are "too big to use", for the following reasons:
Molas also grow from small to large, and they can be eaten by many fish or other marine life in their smaller stages. But once they grow up to adulthood, sunfish can live freely in the ocean with their large size, and few fish can prey on sunfish.
You might say that there are beasts of prey like sharks in the ocean, as well as predators like sea lions and seals, and these animals don't eat sunfish either?
It is also true that marine predators hardly eat sunfish because its meat is nutritious, and marine beasts will not bother with mola when there are other prey to prey on.
As we mentioned earlier, very few fish will eat adult sunfish, but for juvenile sunfish, many marine life will use them as food, so how do sunfish grow?
In fact, sunfish have survived to this day by relying on their strong reproductive ability. Ordinary fish laying 300,000 or 400,000 eggs at a time is already very remarkable, while sunfish can lay 300 million eggs at a time!
What is this concept? This means that even if only one in a million sunfish grows into adulthood, there are 300 sunfish offspring, which is already very powerful.
Molas have little means of attack, and their prey is jellyfish that swim more slowly. However, sunfish have a certain defensive ability, they have thick skin, adult sunfish skin is as rough as sandpaper, and can be up to 7 cm thick, which can withstand the attack of most fish.
In addition, humans do not like to eat the meat of sunfish, which is the main reason why they have survived to this day. Just imagine, this large and useless fish, even humans do not like, their living conditions are certainly good.
4. Concluding remarks
Fishermen are generally unhappy when they accidentally catch a sunfish, not because the name of the sunfish is unlucky, but because the fish is "big and useless", and it is not only impossible to sell when transported back, but also occupies the resources of the fishing boat and wastes costs.