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Moonfish - one of most colorful of commercial fish species available in Hawaii

Baku, May 23, AZERTAC

Opah or moonfish is one of the most colorful of the commercial fish species available in Hawaii.

A silvery-grey upper body color shades to a rose red dotted with white spots toward the belly.

Its fins are crimson, and its large eyes are encircled with gold. The moonfish’s large, round profile may be the origin of its name.

An opah has three types of flesh, each a different color. Behind the head and along the backbone is an attractive orange colored flesh.

Toward the belly, the flesh pales to a pink color. The fish’s cheeks yield dark red flesh. These types of flesh all cook to a white color.

Also known as the Mola mola or the common Mola, the moonfish is one of the most bizarre creatures in the world but also one of the most enigmatic for its unusual measurements and its unusual appearance.

In Polish, it is named “samogłów”, meaning “head alone”, because of it shape.

The ocean moonfish is the largest fish in the world – specifically the heaviest bony fish. The average adult weighs 2,200 pounds, which means that when this big one gets away, it probably takes the boat with it.

Mola descended from bony ancestors, its skeleton contains largely cartilaginous tissues, which are lighter than bone, allowing it to grow to sizes impractical for other bony fishes.

The body of the sunfish is compressed and ovular. They have a relatively long life and keep growing their entire life. It has other amazing features: it can change color and turn on one side to defend against a possible attack by seagulls that are among its many predators with sharks, sea lions, killer whales and, of course, fishing nets and floating litter.

As for its diet, it is mainly limited to jellyfish, plankton, squid and crustaceans.

They usually move between 50 and 200 meters deep and rise to the surface so that seabirds can rid them of their parasites.

Members of the Mola family are native to tropical and temperate waters worldwide. The seas and oceans in which the Sunfish is most present are: the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, the Channel between France and England La Manche, the North Sea, the Indo-Pacific and the Caribbean. Bali is an ideal destination to meet the Mola mola, especially from July to November.

In Europe, it is also possible to see them on the French coasts but also in Portugal, and in Malta.

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