Raw: Mola mola spotted in Bella Bella. Courtesy: Randy Carpenter.
A video of a rare tropical fish has been shot by a Global BC viewer on B.C.’s Central Coast.
A large flat-bodied fish can be seen swimming near a boat in the waters by Ivory Island Light in Seaforth Channel near Bella Bella.
Danny Kent, curator of the B.C. Waters gallery at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre, confirms the unusual fish is, in fact, Ocean Sunfish, also known as Mola mola.
“They are rare on our coast but not unheard of,” says Kent.
Ocean Sunfish can reach up to 11 feet in size and can weigh more than 2,000 kilograms.
He adds that typically people report seeing them off the West Coast of Vancouver Island in late August or early September during particularly warm summers.
“With the weather so warm this year, it’s not surprising,” says Kent. “But Bella Bella is quite far north so that makes it somewhat more interesting.”