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This unexpected marine fauna off the coast of Cornouaille – Quimper



April 2022: an angelfish. “It’s been a very long time since we’ve seen any here.” According to the Apecs (Association for the study and conservation of selachians) and the Marine Biology Station and Marinarium of Concarneau, the presence of an angel shark, brought up on Thursday April 21 in its nets by a fisherman from Cap- Sizun, is rare and quite exceptional on the coasts of southern Finistère, according to scientists. This species is in fact listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species with the status “Critically Endangered”. A small specimen had already been captured and released at the exit of Douarnenez Bay in April 2015.

The time to take the photo, the fish was returned to the water between the tip of Van and the tip of Brézellec, Thursday April 21, 2022, in the bay of Douarnenez. (Tristan Joncourt)

August 2019. A Lago Stephanus Tetraogon. This rare specimen was caught in the Étocs sector in Penmarc’h by Pierre-Yves Stéphan, recreational fisherman and owner of Baradoz Glas, based in Kérity.

1 Tetraogon ( Lago Stephanus ) of the triggerfish family, fish from Asian waters, solitary, can dive up to 500 meters deep.
Tetraogon (Lago Stephanus) of the triggerfish family, fish from Asian waters, solitary, can dive up to 500 meters deep. (Daniel Budinot)

August 2019. In the bay of Audierne. Four Lagocephalus Lagocephalus caught

Four oceanic Tetrodon-hares (scientific name: Lagocephalus) had been fished with a longline in a depth of fifteen meters off Pors-Poulhan, in Plouhinec, by the Gwenn Ha Du, a boat from Saint-Guénolé. They were taken to the Aquashow, where they were quarantined while they acclimatized. These fish of the Tretraodon family, like the Asian puffer fish, swell when they feel in danger. Its viscera and skin are poisonous. Although they are listed as living in the northeast Atlantic, this fish is considered rare in Brittany.

Four Lagocephalus were caught off Pors Poulhan, in Plouhinec.
Four Lagocephalus were caught off Pors Poulhan, in Plouhinec.

September 2021. A bluefin tuna leaping off Fouesnant. Current on our coasts, but anecdotal for the shot: a bluefin tuna of a beautiful size which was chasing a sand eel appeared near the boat of Laurent Francheteau who sent us this photo.

A bluefin tuna seized in flight in September 2021, off Beg-Meil, in Fouesnant.
A bluefin tuna seized in flight in September 2021, off Beg-Meil, in Fouesnant. (Laurent Francheteau)

August 2016. A skinny 1.50 m in front of Penmarc’h. Also nicknamed “gruntler”, running along our coasts, a skinny 32 kg fish was caught on this beautiful day in August 2013 by Emmanuel Prigent, a Fouesnant resident who is passionate about spearfishing. He immortalized the event.

This skinny 1.50 m and 32 kg was hunted a hundred meters in front of the rocks of Saint-Guénolé in Penmarc'h (29), by 10 to 12 m deep.
This skinny 1.50 m and 32 kg was hunted a hundred meters in front of the rocks of Saint-Guénolé in Penmarc’h (29), by 10 to 12 m deep.

In 2013. Caviar in the Bay of Douarnenez. A fisherman made a strange catch in Cap-Sizun, in March 2013: a good-sized sturgeon (2.380 kg) who was walking around there. Again, the fish was released.

Sturgeon
The captured sturgeon had been released.

January 2022. A 2 meter octopus. Predators of the scallop shell, it proliferates in Breton waters. It is therefore not uncommon. But sometimes beautiful specimens are brought up by fishermen in Cornwall.

A beautiful specimen whose total wingspan approaches two meters.  (Photo : )
A two-meter octopus caught in January.

August 2020. Leatherback turtle in Douarnenez. A leatherback turtle is observed at the end of summer 2020 by the agents of the Iroise Marine Park in Douarnenez. The presence of this animal would be explained, it seems, by the abundance of large jellyfish.

The largest leatherback turtles can weigh up to 950 kg.  They feed mainly on jellyfish.
August 2020. a leatherback turtle is observed by agents of the Iroise Marine Park off Douarnenez.

September 2021. A leatherback turtle stranded in Treffiagat. The animal weighing more than 500 kg ran aground on the beach of Reun, in Treffiagat-Léchiagat, in the Pays bigouden.

April 2021. Three imposing basking sharks near the coast. Three imposing specimens were observed by a team of divers in front of Guilvinec. Watch the video below.

May 2021. A porbeagle shark in Concarneau. “In a port, it’s really not common, it’s not at all its natural habitat! A young porbeagle shark, more accustomed to living in the North Atlantic, was observed at the foot of the ramparts of the Ville Close [Vidéo].

The porbeagle shark is harmless to humans.
The porbeagle shark is harmless to humans. (Yvan Le Bras)

May 2019. A basking shark reported between Loctudy and Île aux Moutons. In May, a yachtsman called the Brest Association for the study and conservation of selachians (Apecs) to report a basking shark between Loctudy and Île aux Moutons.

August 2019. A whale stranded in Penmarc’h. A fin whale of about 12 meters was found on the sand of Ster beach, in Penmarc’h. The animal was evacuated after being autopsied.

The scene had attracted hundreds of people on the beach of Ster, in Penmarc'h.
The scene had attracted hundreds of people on the beach of Ster, in Penmarc’h. (The Telegram/Steven Lecornu)

Practice

To report a sighting of a shark or ray in Brittany waters: 06 77 59 69 83. Association for the Study and Conservation of Selachians (APECS). Website: https://www.asso-apecs.org

Also contact the Concarneau Marine Station on 02 98 50 81 64 or Océanopolis on 02 98 34 40 40.

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