According to Sakhalin Info, a rare one-ton opah was caught by local Russian fisherman on Kuril Islands, which is located in Russia’s Sakhalin Oblast region.
The publication showed photos of the fish next to the fisherman taking photos of their impressive catch. Though, the men who found it are currently under scrutiny online after the fish died in their care. Upon finding such a large specimen, the men were unsure what to do with it and debated for one day about whether or not they should throw it back into the water. The fish died in the interim. According to The Siberian Times, after the fish died, the fisherman moved its body to the shores of Iturup.
Once the fish had begun to rot, the fisherman cut the carcass into pieces and distributed them to a place on the island dubbed “fish safari.” The location is said to be where locals leave fish for grizzly bears during the lean season when they have trouble finding food.
Despite the uproar in the comments section on various online publications, the fisherman are also being questioned by scientists who say the men should have given the fish’s body to a museum for preservation.
The International Game Fish Association reported in 2014 that the largest opah to be caught at that time was by Joe Ludlow. He caught a 180-pound opah in San Quintin, Baja California in Mexico.
Despite how many people want to find such a large catch, almost nothing is known of the opah’s biology or ecology. It’s believed by those who study it that they spend the majority of their lives in open ocean waters.
Daily Mail reported that local fisherman couldn’t recall a time they saw such a large catch. It’s alleged that the fisherman have negotiated with museum curators to have better behavior in the future.
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