Divers on a charter with Rendezvous Dive Adventures from Rainy Bay, B.C. encounter a giant ocean sunfish in the waters of Barkley Sound. VIDEO COURTESY PETER MIERAS

Divers encounter giant, weird-looking fish off Vancouver Island

VIDEO: Rendezvous Dive Adventures charter sees creature normally found in tropics

A group of scuba divers were exploring a section of Barkley Sound with Rendezvous Dive Adventures last week when they had a rare encounter with one of the strangest fish seen off the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Peter Mieras, dive captain and owner of Rendezvous Dive Adventures, had a group of experienced divers in the water when he spotted the telltale dorsal fin of a mola mola.

A mola mola is also known as an ocean sunfish, and is an odd-looking bony fish weighing between 250 and 1,000 kilograms. The mola mola looks like it is swimming on its side.

Mola mola aren’t usual visitors to the waters off Vancouver Island. They are usually found in tropical or more temperate waters, and they feed off jellyfish.

Mieras said he usually sees them in Barkley Sound “only in summers when El Nino is on.

“I have seen three-foot to six-foot ones, which is usually the bigger side of the scale.”

The dive group Mieras was leading included experienced divers. They were getting ready to enter the water when they spotted the mola mola’s dorsal fin.

“The fish actually turned towards them and came to check them out,” Mieras said. The divers remained a respectful distance from the giant sunfish as Mieras instructed them to stay calm and give it lots of room.

Lee Critchley filmed the encounter underwater, while Mieras had a camera on his boat on the ocean’s surface. Mieras is known for his marine videos, several of which have been featured in film festivals and one that he created to accompany ‘Become Ocean,’ a Pulitzer Prize-winning musical score.

To watch some of Mieras’ videos, check out his YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/rendezvousdiving or www.subvisionproductions.com.



susie.quinn@albernivalleynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Kootenay region experiences drier-than-normal July: Report

The region only received around 57% of its normal precipitation during the month

Rossland Heritage Commission looks for new members

You have until Sept. 4 to apply to become a member

Search and Rescue receives unprecedented funding from province

South Columbia Search and Rescue increase their range with addition of jet boat, ‘Second Chance’

Trail Smoke Eaters build strong rookie group

Check out the ‘Next Generation’ of Smoke Eaters, eight rookie commits to bolster line up

Nelson Leafs trade starting goalie Violette to Summerland as part of 6-player deal

Nelson acquires three players with Junior A experience

Airlines dispute Dr. Henry’s claim they ‘very rarely’ give accurate COVID contact tracing info

Air Canada, WestJet say they provide names and contact information

‘We all have anxieties’: B.C.’s top doctor addresses return-to-school fears amid COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry promises school restart plan safe for B.C. kids

Abbotsford mom worried about her two kids in Beirut following explosion

Shelley Beyak’s children were abducted by their dad in 2018

Young Canadians, hospitality workers bear the brunt of mental strain in 2020: report

A study by Morneau Shepell points to economic uncertainty in the pandemic as the cause for angst

Health Canada recalling more than 50 hand sanitizers in evolving list

Organization says to stop using products listed, and to consult a health-care professional

Airborne hot dog strikes Greater Victoria pedestrian

Police called to 4200-block of Quadra Street for hot dog incident

B.C. scientist, 63, protests in trees set to be removed for Trans Mountain pipeline

Tim Takaro is reaching new heights as he tries to stall the pipeline expansion project in New Westminster

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Dinosaurs revived for animatronic auction in Langley

More than 500 robot dinosaurs, fossils, and exhibition gear are going on the block Aug. 6

Most Read