ANGLERS on Long Beach made a strange and possibly a rare scientific find when they caught a marlin with their bare hands while fishing from the shore.
The extremely rare visitor to the Namibian coast was not the first for the Festive Season. On Christmas Eve a young bull elephant made a quick turn at Swakopmund and came to within a stone’s throw of the residential area of Mile 4.
According to Leon Krause, a well known fishing guide and fishing tackle shop owner at the Namibian coast, the catch was a once in life time event.
“Besides catching the large fish with their bare hands, marlins are a deep sea species that never comes close to shore. It is the first time that anybody around here heard of people catching a marlin from the beach,” he said.
He said the group of anglers saw the big fish swimming in the shallows directly in front of them and they decided to run into the waves to catch it.
He indicated that the fish was moving very slowly which enabled the anglers to actually catch it with their bare hands.
“The fish was injured which caused it to somehow swim into shore. One man caught it by the tail and a second man grabbed it the fish by its bill and together they managed to land the fish.”
After posing for the camera with their extremely rare catch, the anglers tried to identify the specific type of marlin because this type of fish normally only keeps to regions in the ocean with warmer water further north.
The pictures were sent to fishing and fisheries experts in South Africa.
The reply the Namibians anglers received shortly afterwards was to seal fin clippings and some the fish’s flesh in an airtight bottle and to freeze the contents.
“We may need to send the samples to the United States of America for DNA testing because this could end up as an incredible scientific find. There is still a lot of work being done with regards to research on the striped marlin, white hatchet and long billed spear fish and one caught off Walvis Bay could provide extremely valuable information about the species,” was the reply the anglers received.
Because the fish was already severely injured the anglers killed and slaughtered it and made another strange discovery. They found several large stainless steel fishing hooks in its stomach which could mean that the fish managed to tear itself loose from a long line that was left adrift and never picked up by the fishing vessel that set it.
Hundreds or even thousands of baited hooks can hang from a single line when t is set adrift. Longliners – fishing vessels rigged for longlining – commonly targets swordfish, tuna, halibut, sablefish and many other deep sea species.