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The answer to yesterday's midweek mystery question is ... a ribbon fish - an oarfish, 'Trachipterus arcticus' – common name ‘dealfish.’” A rare find. I‘d not seen one and neither had any of my old-timer, salty mates who’ve spent their lives, harvesting the fruits of the sea. The juvenile (photo in yesterday's post) was washed up on Shellharbour Beach.

They can grow up to a huge size as shown in the photo.

Dealfish are mostly found in the North Atlantic Ocean from Norway and Iceland to Madeira Islands. They are present in the North Sea and the Mediterranean and have been found off the coast of the United States of America. They are also present in Australian waters.

Dealfish are generally located far out to sea, away from landmasses in waters of around 300 to 1000 metres deep. While they are found in deep water, they don’t live or feed on the seabed, but inhabit the pelagic (mid-water) zone. Dealfish are thought to feed predominately by hunting small fish and squid.

The shoreline sheds another secret of the deep.


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