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Friday, March 16, 2018

WOW, WHAT A FISH!

Is there anything worthy north of Perth, Australia?  I've been there, and there was nothing.  Until now.

Let's say you're 68-year old Sue Elcock, all of 5'1" tall, on holiday from the UK.  You go fishing on a boat near the town of Lancelin with your son Simon.  Sue got a nibble and had to get some help to actually land the fish, for it took 40 minutes of reeling.  Said Sue, when she first saw the head...it was the size of a sofa.  Her previous largest catch was a snapper about a foot long.  Her shock was a giant bass grouper two inches taller than her.


As groupers go, there are all kinds.  Sue's weighed in at 130 pounds.  Here to the left is a  436 pound Warsaw grouper caught off Destin, Florida in 1985.

If you go fishing on a party boat, the average grouper size caught is usually something like three pounds.  The largest on record to the right is a 680 pound Goliath Grouper, in 1961 known as a Jewfish, also off Florida.  However, only five years ago, another one was caught near the Nansha Islands (China), and weighed in at 683 pounds:


What is the biggest fish caught by an angler?  Here are five of them worthy of your perusal, with the largest being a great white shark "only" a bit over 2600 pounds.  However, on searching further, a 7,100 pound great white was harpooned off Cuba in 1945:
The largest fish is the Whale Shark, with a known weight of 43,000 pounds.  I once had a project in Taiwan to determine if this fish could someday replace cattle for protein.  I took this photo at the Osaka Aquarium:


But, you say, surely a Tyrannosaurus Rex must have been larger.  Nope, smaller, only up to 31,000 pounds.  The largest dinosaur, the Titanosaur Argentinosaurus Huinculensis, was about 213,000 pounds, but that was a reptile, not a fish.  The largest living creature ever on Planet Earth is probably still somewhere in the ocean.  The Blue Whale weighs up to 400,000 pounds.  But this is a whale, a mammal, not a fish.

Also in the ocean, way back 265 million years ago, there was the Leedsichthys problematicusprobably bigger than a Whale Shark,  but the 90-foot length seems like an exaggeration.  There was the Megaladon, a shark, or fish, which only went extinct a couple of milion years ago, and was estimated to weigh 200,000 pounds, but this, too, is controversial.  Anyway, did you know that the Blue Whale is the largest living creature ever on Planet Earth?


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