MIRI: A picture has gone viral of a so-called ‘disaster fish’ being held up by a fisherman from Bakam.
Some believe this deepsea fish signals the coming of an earthquake but head of the Department of Fisheries Malaysia, Buniamin Kiprawi is sceptical.
“If fish, molluscs or crustaceans are suddenly found in large numbers or if ‘live’ fish are suddenly found stranded in large numbers in a certain place, the phenomenon could be due to a sudden change in the environment.
“Our senior research officer Jamil Musel has identified it from the picture and says the fish’s scientific name is Regalecus Glesne (King Herring) which locals call ‘Ikan Naga’ (Dragon Fish),” Buniamin said when contacted Wednesday.
The 2.8kg Dragon Fish found trapped in a fisherman’s trawling net yesterday is rarely seen on the surface as it lives at great depths of about 1,000 metres.
“The fish might have swum to shallow waters,” he said.
It is the longest known living species of bony fish that could reach a length of 17 metres and weigh up to 270kg.
Also known as an oarfish, it is found in all tropical and temperate waters around the world, and can be identified by its metallic silver with blotches and wavy markings on the body and pink or red fins.
This species has a concave head and a protruding mouth. The dorsal fin runs the entire length of the body.
In Japan, the fish has long featured in local folklore and it is believed that many of them washing ashore signals the coming of an earthquake.