The oarfish, Trachipterus trachypterus, is a mysterious creature of the open ocean which has been the root of many a fisherman’s tale over the span of human history.
There are four described species of oarfish with one species growing up to 56 feet (17 meters) long and it is the longest bony fish ever recorded. Oarfish are rarely seen but when they spotted, it is usually a specimen which is in poor health that has been washed closer to shore before the specimen fully expires.
The juvenile oarfish above is believed to be the species Trachipterus trachypterus and although it was being offered up for sale for 198,000JPY or about $2100, like larger specimens of it’s kind which came into view of human eyes, the juvenile oarfish quickly expired in it’s captive environment.
Update and Video: Follow the break for a video of this fish and for more details on it’s fate.
We’ve come to learn that this juvenile oarfish did indeed perish after just a dozen hours in captivity. We had very slim hopes that the specimen would survive in captivity but it’s still sad to see it die so quickly. Since seeing and catching juvenile oarfish is such a rare occurrence, it’s likely that this specimen was compromised before it ever even left the ocean. The body of this specimen will be donated to a local research facility for further study. Apparently this fish caused quite a stir in the local marine aquarium community and many reefers came to see it right away.