Thursday, 13 May 2010

Distant Dolphin - Weever Fish - Dont Panic!

This morning dawned calm and frosty so I went down to Fishguard Harbour to see if our Bottles were around. There was no sign of them off the outer breakwater but scanning into the distance maybe 3 or more miles away, I could just make out some birds feeding . As I strained through my bins to make out what was happening a dolphin breached, just once...
Had a great day with students from Pembrokeshire College yesterday doing one of our WOW (Wildlife Observer Wales (Sea Life ) courses. During one of our seine netting sessions we caught the little beauty pictured above (not the dolphin!) It is a Lesser Weaver Fish and the little sail like fin just behind its head has venomous spines which you really do not want to tread on... Although not life threatening the pain caused is intense and lasts for a up to a couple of hours. They grow up to about 15 cm (6 inches in length) but this one was only about a half of that. Interestingly we also caught two more really small specimens about 1 cm long. Having spoken to Richard Joseph our Pembrokeshire fish expert, it seems they are relatively common and believes the danger of being stung by one is pretty negligable. If you are unfortunate, hot liquid will help lessen the pain apparently !