Red scorpionfish caught in Irish waters

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A fisherman made a rare catch in the sea off Co Waterford, when a large Red scorpionfish ended up in his net.

The venomous fish, similar to the one shown above, was caught by Peter Lynch and his crew, who usually supply cod and ray to chip shops in Dublin.

But last week Mr Lynch spotted the bright red fish among his catch and avoiding the spines, he carefully transferred it to a holding tank on board the boat, before contacting the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA).

Declan MacGabhann, SFPA inspector at Howth Fishery Centre, said the fish is extremely rare in Irish and British waters, and is normally found in the warmer waters of the Canaries, the Mediterranean and southern Spain.  

Only four specimens have been recorded previously in Irish waters.

The scorpionfish, which arrived back at Howth alive and well, will go on display in the rare fish section at the Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium in Co Kerry alongside an orange lobster called Billy, which was caught north of Dublin a couple of years ago.

Scorpaena scrofa is the largest eastern Atlantic scorpionfish, growing to a maximum of 50cm/20" in length, although 30cm/12" is more common. Its colour can range from bright red to pink.

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