Rare sunfish spotted in Sea Palling

A rare fish was spotted by passers-by on Sea Palling beach.

Sunfish, or Mola Mola, are usually found in the Pacific and central Atlantic at depths of up to 2000 ft (600 metres) and have a long pointed dorsal fin and a long fin on their underside.

They usually live in waters of 16 degrees Celsius.

But Hayley Lambert, who lives near Norwich city centre, saw one which had been washed up dead on the shoreline, as she walked along the beach at Sea Palling last month with a friend,

She said: 'Both my friend and I had never seen this particular species of fish before, and were shocked when we came across it.'

It was only when she posted a picture of her find on the social networking site, Twitter, that she discovered what type of species the fish was.

She said: 'Sunfish usually inhabit waters warmer than 10�C, but have been sighted in the south west of England. Therefore, to find one this much further north easterly is very interesting.'

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In December last year, retired fisherman Paul Dennis spotted a female baby sunfish weighing 57 lbs (26 kg) in distress on Heacham Beach and immediately called in marine experts.

But after several hours spent trying to revive the fish it became clear that the shock had been too much for the creature, and she was pronounced dead.