'Huge' fish attracts attention in Little Akaloa

BIG CATCH: Henry Craw, Alice and Jack Davidson, and Maggie Craw check out the unusual sight on a Banks Peninsula beach at the weekend.
BIG CATCH: Henry Craw, Alice and Jack Davidson, and Maggie Craw check out the unusual sight on a Banks Peninsula beach at the weekend.

A ''pretty enormous fish'' has been attracting attention out of the water in Little Akaloa.

The Davidson family, from Tai Tapu, were visiting friends on Banks Peninsula on Saturday when they came across a large dead fish washed up on the rocks.

''It was seriously huge. The kids loved it. They just thought it was amazing,'' Ange Davidson said.

She estimated the fish would have been 1.5 metres long.

She had never seen a fish of that size washed up on a beach and her Little Akaloa friends had ''not seen anything like it before''.

''I would say it had only washed up that night because its eyes were gone but apart from that it was intact and still looked fresh and didn't smell,'' she said.

Fisherman and co-owner of fishing shop The Fisherman's Loft Mark Rodgers said it was a moonfish, part of the Mola mola family.

The Mola ramsayi is common in the southwest and southeast Pacific Ocean, he said, but not around Christchurch.

''They are pretty big fish and they're more common the further north you go. I've seen them off the coast of Kaikoura but not around [Banks Peninsula].''

Rodgers said the fish were often hit by boats because they had a tendency to swim just beneath the surface, ''catching some sun''.

The average size of a moonfish was about 1.5m, he said.

The Press