United by the water

Mola Mola, scientific name, means in Latin (Millstone) due to its gray color, rough texture and rounded body. Sunfish belongs to the order of the Tetraodontiformes, which includes puffer fish and hedgehog fish and is of the family Molidae. They jump on the surface with beats or rest peacefully by moving their fin from one side to the other. During the summer you can see from the island of Amuitz, in the foothills of Jaizkibel to beyond throughout the Basque coast.

Tall body, with a rounded appearance and laterally compressed. The height of the body is less than twice the total length.
The common size is 1.5m but can reach 3ms and weigh more than 2000 kilos. It has fewer vertebrae than other fish species and lacks nerves, pelvic fins and swim bladder. It has long dorsal and fins and its pectoral fin is located next to the dorsal. Instead of a fin or caudal peduncle, it has a rudder-like tail that extends from the rear edge of the dorsal fin to the back edge of the anal fin. It has a gill opening that is located on the sides, near the base of the pectoral fins.

It has a very thick skin without scales, covered with an elastic and rough skin. Dark grey, on the dorsal and whitish on the sides and ventral area. The eyes are small in size. The mouth is small, with the teeth attached to form a kind of parrot beak. Pelagic fish, usually is swept away by currents and is distributed in temperate and tropical areas of the Atlantic Ocean,  Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. It performs migrations, approaching the coast in summer and moving away from the coast during the cold period. Its habitat corresponds to deep coral reefs and seaweed beds, in the open sea. It lives from the surface up to about 300m deep.

Normally the size and thickness skin deterres marine species from attacking it, but sometimes sharks, orcas and sea lions dare to do so. Younger individuals are often attacked by red tuna. The Sunfish only defends itself when swimming to depths where predators do not venture, even if it is to get a bit. This most solitary fish likes to sunbathe on the surface of the water to regulate its temperature after swimming in cold water and to deworm through specialized fish.

The Sunfish’s favorite food is made up of jellyfish and zooplankton, but it also eats crustaceans, salpa, algae and fish larvae. Females of the especie can reproduce up to 300 million eggs. Life expectancy is about ten years and not edible.


More info: oceansunfish.org

The Big waves give you smiles,
the Little ones, miles, miles, …

Una vida marcada por la Mar

“Soy descendiente de Mareantes y Pescadores de la Cofradía de Hondarribia, nieto e hijo de Arrantzales (pescadores). He estado ligado, desde mi infancia, a la mar y a la actividad pesquera de mi pueblo y su comunidad. Mi pasión y respeto por la mar me ha llevado a conectar otra vez con el Océano, esta vez, a través del deporte con una finalidad de salud y bienestar. Arroja!!”

Manex Martínez Larrarte