EUROPEAN SPEARFISHING RECORDS ASSOCIATION
Notable Catches (EU)
Notable Catches (WW)
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Scientific name: Scorpaena scrofa
Diver: João Pedro Barreiros
Location: Terceira, Azores
Taking advantage of the tidal stoppage and with my usual skipper in my boat, I moved straightforward to a rocky outcrop just 2 nm S off Terceira Island’s S coast. This is a familiar site to which I often go spear fishing especially looking for big groupers, jacks, other pelagic species and also the occasional spiny lobster.
During a dive at a depth of 24 m and just before positioning myself for a wait I looked at my right side and immediately detected this fish. A precise shot at the head meant an easy albeit rare catch. While coming back to the surface care must be paid on the poisonous dorsal and opercular spines.
The fish went into the boat and the promise of a very good dinner became a reality.
Although by no means a difficult fish, big sized scorpion fish are rarely seen at depths lower than 50m. The difficulty of this catch lies on the mimetic characteristics of all Scorpaenidae and of course the relatively rareness of its occurrence at low depths.
Although this was not my first S. scrofa, and probably not the biggest, I decided to proceed with all the necessary requirements for validation as a record since fish sizes and weights while certainly interesting as trophies are also important biometric data for biological purposes.
João Pedro Barreiros
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