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

Columbia Basin Trust seeking public feedback for new management plan

There will be a community meeting in Revelstoke in May

Racist incidents on the rise in the Okanagan as coronavirus spreads

UBCO professor not surprised by recent incidents

Ministry proposing dust control plan for Westside Rd.

Dust from industrial operations in the area is a concern

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Fire crews battle large blaze in West Kelowna

Reports of multiple structures on fire in the Colleen Road area

From seed to salad: Providing purpose for Okanagan inmates

“I planted every one of these, it makes me feel good, they’re like all my little babies.” - inmate Kim

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Pink Shirt Day campaign urges Canadians to ‘Lift Each Other Up’

Annual anti-bullying effort returns Wednesday, Feb. 26

Kelowna man charged after naked driver leads RCMP on hit-and-run spree

A Kelowna man has been charged with numerous offences

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Most Read