KALIBO, Aklan – A 10.5-feet oarfish weighing about 25 kilograms was washed ashore in New Washington, Aklan.
The rare fish was spotted in the shallow waters of Poblacion, New Washington around 9 a.m. on Monday. Residents tried to return the fish to the shore, but it was already weak and eventually died.
According to aquaculturist Rico Magno of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)-Aklan, oarfish is found only in deep parts of sea and in temperate and tropical oceans.
He dismissed that the fish is a manifestation of an earthquake that is yet to come.
“Nasorpresa tayo, first time itong oarfish na-stranded sa New Washington. Huwag tayong magpanic, posibleng nadisturbo ang natural habitat ng oarfish sa dagat,” Magno said.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), oarfish are the longest bony fish in the sea, growing about 50 feet.
Oarfish, commonly mistaken as sea serpent, are rare but can be found in areas with tropical and temperate waters like the Philippines. The creature lives near the sea bottom at about 3,000 feet.
NOAA said that not much is known about the habits and life of oarfish, but most of them come to the surface when injured or dying. (With a report from Akean Forum/PN)