Massachusetts Town Orders Locals To Stop Calling 911 About Giant Fish
A Massachusetts town has ordered its residents to stop calling 911 over a giant fish.
Ever since Steven Spielberg unleashed Jaws in 1975, beach-goers and sea-farers have been far more cautious about what’s lurking in the water.
So much so, a small town in southern Massachusetts has been struck by Amity Island hysteria over a massive fish. Is it a shark, is it a whale, is it something dangerous? No, it’s a just a regular sunfish.
In a Facebook post, the Wareham Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) urged local residents to curb their panicked calls over the large fish in the cove.
It wrote, ‘We are aware of a sunfish in Broad Cove. We have checked on it, and it is doing normal sunfish activities. It’s swimming. It is not stranded or suffering. The sunfish is FINE. Don’t be jealous just because its not swimming weather anymore!’
The local police department has been inundated with calls since Monday, October 12, with concerns there could be a shark in the water or even a seal in distress.
Concluding the post, the WDNR added, ‘PLEASE STOP CALLING THE POLICE DEPARTMENT ABOUT THIS SUNFISH!!’
The ocean sunfish is one of the heaviest known bony fishes in the world, with fully-grown adults weighing up to 1,000kg and measuring up to 10ft in length. They’re often seen swimming on their side with their largest profile facing the sun. While their fins are similar to sharks, you can tell the difference by the way the creature swims.
Joshua Kimball, Wareham’s natural resources officer, explained to The Boston Globe that he’d attended a call regarding a possible injured seal on the Monday morning, at which point he realised it was a sunfish swimming in around 15-20ft of a water. Throughout the day, more calls came in.
One email read, ‘REPORTING LARGE BLACK FIN IN WATER LOOKING FROM RIVERSIDE DR ACROSS THE WATER. ITS NEXT TO 2 BOATS. ITS BEEN THERE AWHILE. ITS FLAPPING LIKE ITS IN TROUBLE.’
However, Carol Carson, president of the nonprofit New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance, told The Cape Cod Times that sunfish are known to get themselves stranded in areas like Broad Cove around this time of year, especially in shallow depths.
While they’re not particularly dangerous animals, they can spit when antagonised. ‘It’s kind of sad. Come on guy, I’m just trying to help you,’ Carson said.
The WDNR’s post has been shared hundreds of times, with one user commenting, ‘So what you’re saying is…. there is a big fish doing fish stuff in the ocean… that’s weird.’
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CreditsWareham Department of Natural Resources/Facebook and 2 others
Wareham Department of Natural Resources/Facebook
The Boston Globe
The Cape Cod Times