A big black fish rarely spotted in Taranaki waters has washed up on a Waitara beach.
The black marlin measured 2.8 metres long and weighed about 150 kilograms and was found in front of the Waitara Golf Course by a member who was walking along the beach yesterday afternoon.
The member informed volunteer green-keeper Chad Evans of the discovery, who then called the local Department of Conservation office.
Conservation Services Ranger Callum Lilley, with the assistance of Mr Evans and several others at the course, took measurements, photographs and samples from the massive fish.
"To my knowledge, this is the first instance of a marlin washing up in my seven years with the Department", said Mr Lilley, "Black marlin are reasonably rare in Taranaki waters and this provides a good opportunity to contribute to research of the species."
The head and tail have been collected on behalf of Auckland Museum, along with a range of measurements.
"We were going to collect stomach contents as well, but the stomach was empty", said Mr Lilley.
"A large part of what appeared to be the liver was extremely dark, almost black. This may have been severe necrosis of the liver which would suggest this was a very sick fish".
Black marlin can grow in excess of 4.5 metres and weigh up to 750kg.
Blue marlin and striped marlin are commonly caught in Taranaki waters.
Along with other gamefish, they generally arrive with warmer waters that push down from up north.
Catches of marlin are generally reported from about mid-February through April, but this can vary depending on season.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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