Sea serpent find puts Oceanside in the news

October 23, 2013 by  

Like lightning striking twice in the same place, a rare oarfish has once again found its way on to a Southern California beach.

Last Friday, one of the snakelike fish was discovered here in Oceanside. The nearly 14-foot dead fish attracted about 75 people at Oceanside Harbor and prompted a call to the Oceanside Police, to which Officer Mark Bussey responded.

Friday’s discovery came on the heels of an 18-foot oarfish found off Catalina Island. Science instructor Jasmine Santana, who works for the Calalina Marine Institute, found the first oarfish earlier in the week while snorkeling off Toyon Bay. The body of that dead oarfish was found on the seabed and required 15 people to help drag to shore.

Officer Bussey described sea creature as “not the typical fish you see on shore”. He estimated the oarfish weighed over 200 pounds. Bussey recognized the fish from pictures of the one found off Catalina Island.

After making a series of phone calls to different organizations, including The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Suzanne Kohin of NOAA Fisheries Service was dispatched. Kohin assumed possession of the oarfish and provided the official measurement. The oarfish found in Oceanside will provide NOAA with a rare opportunity for study and research.

Postcard printing companies would no doubt find images of the recent oarfish found on Southern California beaches an intriguing subject matter. Although appearing massive, the oarfish found recently were small fry compared to the size they can attain. Oarfish are a deep-water creature that can grow to over 50 feet long and are considered a likely source of sea serpent legends.