Fisherman Peter Guille had the surprise of his life a week ago when he pulled a Pollack out of the water off the Channel Island of Sark. When he lifted the Pollack from the water he saw a Seahorse hanging from its mouth which in itself was amazing but imagine his surpise when he gutted the Pollack to find 55 others in its belly including 4 that were still alive. Peter put the live seahorse back into the sea and the rest into a bucket and on returning to shore he contacted local widlife filmaker (and seahorse sightings coordinator for the trust in the Channel Islands) Sue Daly and she went to investigate and take some pictures. When Sue got there she found that 4 were still alive and donning her SCUBA gear she packed up the live seahorses and took them back under the water to release them, which she did in the local Harbour. After spending some time with the seahorses Sue happily left them to their own devices and hopefully they survived their ordeal inside the Pollack, bit like Jonah and the whale.
What is more amazing is that these small Short Snouted Seahorses (all juveniles about 3 to 4 cm long) were almost all female.
This remarkable incident is even more strange because of how difficult seahorses are to find in the wild due to their cryptic nature. In the past we have only had a couple of occurences of mass findings like this but all the previous ones have been seagulls eating seahorses.
Perhaps we should train Pollack to find seahorses for us when we are doing our survey work!!
The pictures below (copyright Sue Daly 2014) show the ones that sadly did not survive and the ones that did and Peter the fisherman who had the quick thought to put them back in the wild and contact Sue. Many thanks to both of them for all of this