Another deepwater fish record ….

Dennis Taylor of Chintsa called the museum after noting thousands of small fish which had washed out at Chintsa Bay on the 29th October 2013. Some were still alive when he collected a sample for further investigation.

Greg Brett identified the fish as Champsodon – a deepwater dwelling species (60 – 500 m) which occur in great shoals and rise close to the surface at night. It attains a maximum length of 140 mm.

Upwelling driven by persistent easterly winds in the last while may have contributed to the large numbers being found on the Chintsa Bay beach.

Pic: K. Cole

Champsodon capensis
Pic: K. Cole

This is not the first record for the museum, but a valuable insight into the effects of winds, ocean currents and temperature changes which occur in the sea.

It has been noted that during storms these fish may be found occuring in large numbers on beaches, particularly during the early morning.

Reference: The Sea Fishes of southern Africa by JLB Smith and G. Brett (pers comm.)


About East London Museum Science

Conservation Biologist East London Museum South Africa
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