Okinawan fisherman reel in two live oarfish, eat portion of one
Japan Times -- Feb 18
Two rare deep-sea oarfish caught in fixed nets off Toya port on the southwest side of Okinawa stunned the local fishing community last month for simply being alive.

The oarfish, netted about 2.5 km away from the coast on Jan. 28, were about 4 meters and 3.6 meters long, according to the village of Yomitan's fisheries cooperative association.

Local fishermen later ate part of one of them.

"Although I've seen oarfish specimens before, it was the first time for me to see them alive," said Hajime Kinjo, head of the association.

The rare occurrence even prompted radio station FM Yomitan to broadcast the haul as breaking news.

Unfortunately, the two fish died before arriving at the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in the town of Motobu. The remains were to be preserved as specimens.

According to the aquarium's records, the last time oarfish came ashore in Okinawa was about two decades ago near Iejima island, a 30-minute ferry ride away. The Okinawa Times reported an oarfish landing off Kumejima island in 2011.

One of the fish caught on Jan. 28 was torn in half while being unloaded from a ship, prompting local fishermen to eat its fin side as sashimi. They described the texture as jiggly.

News source: Japan Times
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