Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK

Short Communication

Occurrence of ocean sunfish, Mola mola near fronts in the western English Channel

D.W.  Sims a1c1 and E.J.  Southall a1
a1 Marine Biological Association, The Laboratory, Citadel Hill, Plymouth, PL1 2PB, UK


Surface occurrence of ocean sunfish (Mola mola) was recorded during summer (May–September) in the western English Channel off Plymouth over a six-year period between 1995 and 2001. Fifteen individuals of between 0.5–0.7 m estimated total length were sighted during 1651 hours of observation. Nearly all sightings (93%) occurred in June and July in water between 13 and 17°C. Sunfish were mostly associated with frontal and stratified water masses (86%) rather than in cooler, mixed water.

(Received December 5 2001)
(Accepted May 9 2002)

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