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Rare black marlin may have been 'very sick'

Last updated 05:00 10/01/2014
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A black marlin rarely spotted in Taranaki waters has washed up on a Waitara beach.

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A rare black marlin with a dicky liver has washed ashore in front of Waitara's golf course.

The 2.8-metre fish was discovered by a club member walking along the beach yesterday afternoon and was reported to the Department of Conservation.

Ranger Callum Lilley took measurements, photographs and samples of the fish, which weighed about 150 kilograms. "We were going to collect stomach contents as well but the stomach was empty," Mr Lilley said.

"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 are reasonably rare in Taranaki waters and this provides a good opportunity to contribute to research of the species." The head and tail of the fish were collected on behalf of Auckland Museum.

Black marlin can grow to longer than 4.5m and weigh up to 750kg.

Blue marlin and striped marlin are commonly caught in Taranaki waters.

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