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

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

COVID-19: Isolation exemptions to frontline workers a danger to patients, say Island Health employees

Staff exempt from self-isolation upon return from international travel according to Island Health

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

Special offer

Fuller Lake Motel message board catches motorists’ eyes

School District 79 working hard to support the community

Assistance being provided in this challenging time from COVID-19

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

Long list of events disrupted by COVID-19 around the community

Challenging situation affecting fundraisers, entertainment, sports and more

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

World COVID-19 update: U.S. expects 100,000 deaths; Oregon declares disaster

Comprehensive update of world news for Sunday, March 19.

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

‘There is community’: B.C. councillor welcomes new baby into world amid COVID-19 pandemic

‘I realize there’s much more than fear and worry… there is hope, there is new life’: Jason Lum

Most Read