Mola Mola Ocean Sunfish (Perhaps)
He also shot a little bit of footage which he's working on right now.
Both of us were a bit dumb-struck by this fish because neither of us had seen anything quite like it before. So, we googled images of fish and soon discovered that the only thing that looked like it, was a fish known as the Mola Mola Ocean Sunfish which is normally native to warmer waters like Australia, New Zealand, Tazmania and Japan. Indeed, it's a delicacy in Japan.
So, this poor critter was lost, to say the very least. We phoned the Magee campus - part of the Ulster University who in turn put us through to their wildlife departments up in Coleraine. We didn't have much joy on that number so we decided to ring the regional BBC news services in Belfast. They jumped on it. They wanted us to email the pictures up to them. So we did. Hopefully they'll cover this at some point.
Then a lovely lady called Nicola from BBC Radio Ulster got hold of the story and phoned me. She asked if one of us would like to be interviewed live on the air about the discovery. At the same time Michael Bradley of BBC Radio Foyle arrived here with a fancy microphone/recorder and interviewed us. Then both he and Diarmuid went back to the site where the fish was found. Radio Foyle may run the story on tomorrow morning's show. Should be good fun.
From trawling the internet we've discovered that these fish eat jellyfish, are docile, have hard skin and loads of bones. They normally swim in pairs and are badly affected by temperature changes in the water which cause them to become disoriented and can eventually kill them. They can grow to massive sizes and the one we have photographed was roughly 2 - 2.5ft according to Diarmuid. When the footage is processed you will see a plastic milk container bobbing in the water close to the fish. It's a pint container, so should give you a better idea of the size of the fish in question. Apart from that, the meshed metal you see in the above shots is a shopping trolly, so that should give any of you interested a perspective on size...