WILDLIFE photographer John Ovenden recently came face-to-face with one of the strangest-looking creatures to visit Channel Island waters – a sunfish.
The flat and circular fish – which look like a giant swimming head – are often spotted resting on their sides at the surface of the sea, supposedly basking in the sunshine, which is how they got their English name.
In many other languages, they are known as moon fish.
There have only been 24 recorded sightings of sunfish since 2016, although they are not uncommon in Jersey’s waters.
The fish tend to be quite shy and are fast divers when disturbed. They feed on jellyfish, which appear more frequently during the summer months.
Marine Resources head Paul Chambers said: ‘Sunfish are usually visible by the dorsal fin which sticks clear of the water but they will sometimes leap clear of the water, splashing down on their side.’
He added that they were a protected species under Jersey’s Wildlife Law.