Monster Lancetfish Found at Dog Beach in OB

by on April 19, 2019 · 0 comments

in Ocean Beach

On Wednesday, April 17, a scary-looking Lancetfish with dagger-like teeth was found at Dog Beach in Ocean Beach. The four-foot-long fish isn’t commonly found on local shores or caught while fishing off the OB Pier.

But there it was. And ACE (Albert C Elliott) was there along with his dog and took these photos.

According to 10News Lancetfish are more typically found in the dark depths of the ocean where they feed on jellyfish, micro plastic, tiny deepwater organisms, and even smaller lancetfish. They’re not very tasty to humans. But …

“despite their place in the ocean’s depths, fisherman may sometimes catch more lancetfish than tuna or mahi. NOAA says the fish is actually the most common bycatch in their fisheries, besides blue sharks.”

NOAA is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.



From the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Lancetfish:

With its wide mouth filled with dagger-like teeth, spiny sail fin reminiscent of some dinosaurs, and long, slender body extending up to 2 meters (6.6 feet), the lancetfish doesn’t look like a creature that anyone would want to tangle with. Yet, fishermen sometimes catch more lancetfish than the bigeye tuna or swordfish they’re actually targeting.

On the surface, these prehistoric-looking fish don’t appear to have much value. They’re not very tasty and their gelatinous flesh is unsuited for local cuisine. And their preferred habitat — the dark depths of the ocean — and potential size preclude them from aquariums. As such, fishermen typically don’t keep the lancetfish they catch.

But researchers at the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC), along with their collaborators at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Stanford University, University of Hawai?i, and NOAA Pacific Islands Regional Office (PIRO), have found a special purpose for the seemingly worthless lancetfish catch: As unique tools to better understand the middle of the marine food web.

“When we look in lancetfish stomachs, their prey is really undigested,” says PIFSC research oceanographer Phoebe Woodworth-Jefcoats. “They look almost exactly like the fish you would see swimming around in the ocean.”

By studying the stomach contents of lancetfish, Woodworth-Jefcoats and her colleagues get an unprecedented glimpse into the ecosystem, helping them understand, for example, what the fish on our plates (tuna, swordfish, and others) are eating.

Tracking these marine diets over the years will further reveal how the marine food web is changing over time (if at all) and how the big inter-annual climate variability events like El Niño or La Niña — as well as rising ocean temperatures and ocean acidification — affect the food web.

for more go here.

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