Massachusetts authorities beg locals to stop calling about giant sunfish
Environmental authorities in a town on the northeastern coastline of the United States have begged locals to stop calling police about a massive fish.
The ocean sunfish, with its large dorsal fin, had been mistaken by some people for a shark while others were concerned it was stuck in waters near Buzzards Bay in Massachusetts.
According to The New York Times, two officers from the Wareham Department of Natural Resources were dispatched to investigate.
“When you see them coming along, it looks like this massive fin coming out of the water,” department director and Wareham harbourmaster Garry Buckminster said.
“We get it. But 911 isn’t a good avenue to report fish that are swimming around.”
The environmental department issued an impassioned plea via its Facebook page on Monday.
“We are aware of a sunfish in Broad Cove,” the post reads.
“We have checked on it, and it is doing normal sunfish activities. It’s swimming. It is not stranded or suffering. The sunfish is FINE.
“Don’t be jealous just because it’s not swimming weather anymore!
“PLEASE STOP CALLING THE POLICE DEPARTMENT ABOUT THIS SUNFISH!!”
Mr Buckminster said swimmers at Onset Beach in Wareham more than two decades ago came “running out of the water” due to a “big goofy fish”.
Carol “Krill” Carson, president of the New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance, told the Cape Cod Times the strandings happen every autumn, and 130 were recorded last year.
She said they have “mainly juveniles and young sunfish” swimming into trouble in the area – a peninsula of Massachusetts.
On its Facebook page, the volunteer organisation states: “Ocean sunfish stranding is in full swing on Cape Cod”.
Ms Carson said sunfish spit when they are antagonised.
“It’s kind of sad,” she told the newspaper.
“Come on, guy. I’m just trying to help you.”
According to National Geographic, ocean sunfish or mola are “clumsy swimmers” weighing up to 2200 kilograms.