A couple of Russian fishermen realized they had bitten off more than they could chew when they caught a monster fish off the Kurill islands on Sept. 9. The moonfish tipped the scales at an unbelievable 1.2 tons.
The moonfish also goes by the names of opah or kingfish. It was discovered in 2015 to be the first to have a warm heart, while simultaneously maintaining its body temperature five degrees higher than the water it swims in. The moonfish is in increasing demand owing to its tasty meat. It’s generally the preferred fish used in fish-and-chips dishes. The fish is immensely popular in Asia; however, its consumption has been banned in the European Union.
The Russians’ incredible one-ton catch would translate to something close to 1,200 portions of the popular snack!
Unfortunately, all the drama surrounding the entrapment of this monster fizzled out to a bizarre end when the catch was left to rot and eventually thrown out to wild bears. Apparently, the monster fish was put up for display for the whole day.
The joy of getting hold of a prize catch was pretty short-lived once the pictures hit social media. Several netizens raised their voice against the shoddy way in which such a magnificent creature was handled. While one user argued that the unique monster fish should have been photographed and let loose, local scientists barraged the fishermen, stating the fish should have been preserved in a museum.
What’s fascinating is that moonfish rarely go over 500 pounds (approx. 227 kg). It’s interesting that the largest moonfish ever caught actually weighed double the monster fish that the Russians had caught last month, and that was way back in 1908.
One of the fishermen in the local vicinity, Arthur Balkarov, was talking to the local press about the catch. He said that he had never heard of a fish remotely that size being caught anywhere near that area. He went to state that there are plenty of large catfish that you could fish off the islands, but even they don’t get bigger than 5 feet.