By BRIAN MOORE
IT was a fishy few days in West Cork last weekend as two giant specimens of sea life made an appearance.
On Saturday, Baltimore photographer Simon Duggan ‘landed’ yet another fine photo for his whale collection, with a stunning shot of a mammal ‘lunge feeding’.
He had taken a trip with the Baltimore Sea Safari and was lucky to have his camera at the ready just as the huge fin whale made a spectacular appearance, mouth open, at lunch-time.
‘We had heard fin whales were around, and they were lunge feeding,’ he told The Southern Star. ‘There were actually three fin whales there at the time.’
Simon is the photographer who captured the iconic shot of the whale watchers looking the wrong way, as a whale breached on the far side of their boat, some years ago.
Meanwhile, a local fisherman was surprised and delighted with the contents of his net, when he landed a huge Atlantic bluefin tuna at the quayside in Union Hall on Friday.
The bluefin tuna, which is rare in our waters, weighed a whopping 214kg and needed a forklift to unload it at Scally’s Supervalu in Clonakilty.
‘We source 100% of our fresh fish from Glenmar Shellfish in Union Hall, and normally get our tuna already cut into steaks, but this is the first time we bought a whole fish,’ Scally’s manager Gabriel Leahy told The Southern Star.
‘It took our forklift to get it off the back of the van and into the shop. The weight was unbelievable – even when we tried to move it on the trolley,’ said Gabriel.
While Gabriel was reluctant to divulge just how much the tuna cost, regular wholesale prices for a kilo of bluefin are currently at between €10 to €15 per kg. At these prices, the bluefin landed at Union Hall could have fetched between €2,140 to €3,210.
‘You could double that price if you turned up at the market and wanted to buy that fish for your freezer at home,’ Peter at Glenmar Shellfish said.
The fish that was delivered to Scally’s in Clonakilty was landed, delivered and ready for sale all within a few hours.
‘The fish is incredibly fresh, and will be made into tuna steaks and our famous tuna burgers, for sale here,’ Gabriel said.