Recording Marine Life

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Records of Mola mola

Number seen/Abundance Date Location Comments Recorded by
1 2003-11-07
3/4 mile off the Red Heugh. Reported by local lobster fishermen.
fishermen first assumed it was a basking shark but they then went back and found it and got a very good view of the largest sunfish they have ever seen in these waters. Stephen Willis
2 2003-06-22
Approximately midway between Plymouth and Eddystone Lighthouse
Swimming at the surface Charles Whitworth
About 14 2002-05-08
Between St Ives Bay and the Western Carracks
David Stamp
1 2002-07-13
Hand Deeps
One smallish (probably 1 m across) fish Keith Hiscock
1 2000-08-26
Cliffs to the south of Sennen Cove, near Lands End
The weather was sunny and bright Angus Jackson
1 2001-08-19
West of The Battery, Lundy
One moderate size fish but dived soon after sighting. Nevertheless, a certain record. Keith Hiscock
1 2000-09-10
Newquay Bay, North Cornwall
Seen from boat Glen Tarran
1 2002-08-28
Rame Head
Body 18" diameter Roger Burstow
2 2002-07-28
Near Wicca pool, St Ives
Jenny Smirthwaite
1 2002-07-22
Newquay Bay
Sunfish approximately 1m high and was seen circling a rock pinnacle at around 15m. Hugh Jones
1 2002-07-25
Off Strumble Head, Fishguard.
Close to rocks with tail fin slapping on surface of water. Peter Seaton
1 2002-06-02
Sea surface between the wreck of the Persia and Plymouth
50 cm diameter Fiona White
1 2001-06
Ilfracombe, between Capstone Point and the harbour
lowtide, seen for 3 consecutive days Lisa Young
1-2 p.a. 2002-06-10
Cardigan Bay, west wales
Very few seen but interesting to see and always left alone. Mrs L.M. Hicks
1 2004-06-07
Off Helford estuary.
Good clear sighting on surface close to boat. Breached clear of water several times. Sally Sharrock
3 2004-07-26 Little Russel
Guernsey, Little Russel, "cement wreck"
Surface swimming upright, fins flapping from one side to the other. Est weight 20lb, travelling north with the tide, sea temp 16c Gary Marsh
1 2004-07-26 Lizard
South East of Lizard, approx 3 miles (lat/long estimated).
Lying flat in water during two close approaches then turned upright to swim off and dive. John Hepburn
1 2004-08-07 Old Harry rocks
Just off Old Harry rocks near Swanage.
On surface, when approached came to boat and remain with boat for some time. Came to hand in water, could see sea lice on its back etc. Very healthy looking fish about 1m across. Lee Ford
P DD/MM/YYYY Brighton beach
off Brighton beach, within tidal reach
Small shoal, 4/6 individuals small fish, no more than 40cm long, in about 3m of water, feeding round an old pipe Chris Beasley
1 2004-08-07 Loch Laxford
Mouth of Loch Laxford, Sutherland, Scotland. Between Ardmore point and northern tip of Eilean an t-Sithein.
First observed lying on its side on the surface and swimming circuitously with its dorsal fin consistently breaking the surface. On approach by kayak it very slowly turned upright and dived then resurfaced, again on its side, two minutes later. Estimated against known length of kayak as being 1m from mouth to tail and 1.5m from tip of dorsal fin to tip of anal fin. Confirmed as mola mola and photograph taken to back up the sighting. Three other kayakers also present. Photograph available on request. Ed Ley-Wilson
1 2001-08-11 Cork Harbour
Inside Cork Harbour, Ireland.
caught with landing net, photographed & returned. approx 60cm Diameter. Mick Potts
We saw the tell tale waving fin protruding from the water.
1 2002-06-17 Rame Head
4 miles south of Rame Head, Plymouth Sound
Dave Booker
9 2001-07-13 Pentire
Channel between Rumps and the Mouls, Pentire, N.Cornwall.
Swimming East to West singly, in twos and one group of three. Also seen by other walkers who had seen three the previous day in the same spot. Ken and Maureen Newton
2 2001-08-14 St Davids Head
St Davids Head, Pembrokeshire
2 sunfish seen.Both approx 50-70cm long. Seen swiming within 5 metres of cliffs in very clear water (temperature 16 degrees).Came within 1 metre of the boat, stayed alongside for several minutes the swam off South West. Jon Hudson
1 2002-07-19
Charmouth foreshore, Dorset
Saw characteristic fin wagging obove surface within 3 metres of shore, amongst bathers. Sarah Cooke
1 2002-06-22
Seen off Tunnels Beach, Ilfracombe
No accurate info re size - just characteristic fin seen flopping along in the water Michelle Bannon
1 2000-06-30 Plymouth Sound
Halfway between Rame Head and the Mewstone, Devon
Saw fin - black object 15" high and 4" wide - erect. Joe Guy
2 2002-07-27 Wicca Pool
Near Wicca Pool, St Ives
Jenny Smirthwaite
1 2002-08-23 Porlock
Off Hurlstone Point, near Porlock, Somerset
seen through telescope about 1km out into Porlock Bay. I have seen the species close up before, but never from mainland Britain, so even though it was a couple of years ago, thought it was worth recording! Tom Raven
1 2004-07-26 Lundy Island
Landing Bay, Lundy Island, Bristol Channel
Generally flailing around at surface. Holly Sheldon
1 2004-08-13 Bristol Channel
Mid Channel between Ilfracombe and Port of Neath
Observed swimming and basking while being past by a boat Stephen Furley
1 2004-08-14 Mouth of Loch Skiport
West of Ornish Island, Mouth of Loch Skiport, Western Isles
Small individual (50cm) seen on surface very close to a fish farm. During environmental survey work. Matt Gubbins
1 2005-07-03 T-Pot wreck
T-Pot wreck , The Channel, South of East Wittering
About 1m from fintip to fintip.First spotted at about 16m depth and swam slowly round us 'til we ascended to about 7m. Appeared in good health. Trevor Phillips
1 2005-07-01
On line bearing 215 degrees between Hanois lighthouse, Guersney and Plymouth breakwater approximatly 40 nautical miles from Plymouth
Lying on side at surface of water Christine Homer
1 2005-07-10
Half a mile south-west of entrance to Chichester Harbour
Swimming slowly with dorsal fin breaking the surface. Seemed to be slightly less than 1 metre across and in good condition. It was a very hot, sunny Sunday afternoon. Justin Smith
1 2005-07-16
Mounts Bay, between Lands end and the Lizard.
Basking on surface Sonia Rowley
1 2005-07-16
Newfoundland point on St Mary's Island, Isles of Scilly
Basking on Surface, east of the wreck Cita Sonia Rowley
1 2005-07-17 Bishops Rock
Bishops Rock, West Isles of Scilly
Basking on surface. 200 meters NE of Bishops Rock. Sonia Rowley
1 2005-06-29
Travelling back to Dartmouth from Isles of Scilly
No further comments Sonia Rowley
1 2005-08-16
Between Falmouth Harbour and Porthkerris, Cornwall , near to wreck of Volnay approx 3 iles off shore
On surface then dived on our slow aporoach in rib Sarah Lee
1 2005-09-01
Outer Pulley Buoy Taw and Torridge Estuary- Bideford Bay
Saw a flapping fin whilst out fishing in a small boat - approached carefully. Sunfish dived after a couple of minutes Hannah & Nick Carthew
1 2005-07-02
Scylla Reef, Whitsand Bay, Cornwall
Seen at surface of water above Scylla - information passed on to Aquarium Host at NMA post-event. Debby Mason
1 2006-02-27 Walney Island
Thorney Nook car park, Walney Island
No obvious injuries, quite fresh, on last night's high tide line. Approx 80cm nose to tail. Photographs available. Mike Douglas
4 2006-06-24
Between Penzance and Sennen Cove, Cornwall
Saw dorsal fins flapping about on surface and got closer look at whole fish under water. Approx 1.5 - 2 ft tall. Judith Oakley
Approx 1.5m on its left side, on surface, then dived under
2 miles west of Cherbourg Harbour entrance
Bob Houghton
Free Swimming under water, circling 4 divers incl. myself, at 10m deep. Image available.
1 2007-06-17 Rame Head
Approx 1'.0 SE Rame Head, Cornwall.
John Hepburn
1 2008-08-09
3000' east of The Carracks 50m off Seal Island Near St Ives Cornwall.
seen sunning on the surface (alive not dead!) about 50 feet from the boat. Fish estimated to be about 1m across the body, plus fins Keilson Foote
1 2008-07-22
Near the wreck of the Glen Strathallen, approaches to Plymouth Sound
seen at about 16m depth. Approx 1m across. Rebecca Filtness
1 2009-07-01 Pentewan
South coast of Cornwall. Water about 25\' deep.
About half mile from shore we saw a sun fish. It's dorsal fin was slapping on top of the water and then rising up again. It was there for several minutes and when we tried to approach too close it sounded. After we moved away it returned to the surface. The dorsal fin was perhaps 18\" to 2\' long, but we didn\'t see enough of the rest of the fish to estimate its size. We checked with the marine museum curator at Mevagissey harbour who confirmed the species. The local diving club suggested we should register the sighting, so here it is! Richard Aylward
1 2009-07-05 Eddystone Lighthouse
On the RIB ride back to Plymouth Queens Anne Battery, aprox 5-10mins after leaving the Eddystone site.
Sunfish spotted on its side basking in the surface waters Emma Yates
1 2009-06-30 Ynys Lochtyn
500m to the north of Ynys Lochtyn (nr Llangranog)
On surface, got in the water with it and it looked in good health with no visable parasites(about 1m from nose to caudal tail) David Harries
1 2009-07-16 Boreray, St Kilda
Just offshore from Boreray.
Seen close up in open sea. Murdo Macdonald
One 08/07/2011 Cawsand Bay, Plymouth Sound
Approximately 400 m offshore of Pier Cellars over 16m depth of water.
Individual about 1m across and at the surface near to the boat for about 10 minutes. Keith Hiscock
1 23/07/2011 Whitesand Bay
Directly above the wreck of HMS Scylla
One individual with a body length of approximately 60-70cm. Stayed within close proximity to the boat for a couple of minutes and then submerged. Sean Russell
1 04/06/2012 Porth Dinllaen
Over the wreck of the Gwynfaen
Matt Ellis
1 13/06/2012 Woolacombe beach
Woolacombe beach, North Devon
Small sunfish approx 40cm across floating just offshore woolacombe beach. I followed it for a while and it seemed to be healthy. Andrew Pratt