Death of Mola Mola

Outer Bamnks diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat

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Posted by BadFish on October 24, 2001 at 08:58:44:

Has anyone heard about this?
I found this post on the rodales message board this morning.

"Last Sunday I was diving with a buddy in Monterey. First dive, Aumentos Reef. Beautiful, but unfortunately littered with dying juvenile mola's. When I say littered I mean about 10 at Aumentos, then another 10-15 at the Metridium fields, and others on the surface in between. The most disturbing part of this was that all of these had both large fins removed. It seemed too coincidental to think that sea lions or other sea dwelling predators had selectively removed both fins. They seemed to be removed at the point where they met the body by a sharp implement, too smooth to have been bitten off. Now the bad news... about a mile from Aumentos was a fleet of commercial fishers using nets. Our theory is that either 1) the Japanese market is running low on shark fins or discovered that Mola's fins have sexual powers, or 2) the mola's are getting caught up in the nets and are being cut out and tossed into the water. Any opinions on these theories?

Also, does anyone know if any explosives are used by commercial fleets. At Aumentos when we were about a mile from the fleet we were hearing rather loud "explosions" at depth.

Both of these issues left a disturbing feeling after 2 beautiful dives."

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