Creatures from the deep

It wouldn’t be summer without long, hot days and fishing tales. Of course exaggerated yarns about nearly landed whoppers are familiar fare. To make the news, you should catch a hideous monster accidentally and unexpectedly, and that is precisely what 11-year-old Nathalie Saxegård did.


A dealfish. Ick. (Photo: Sven O Kullander)

The youngster from Fredrikstad was on a fishing trip in scenic Vesterøy in Hvaler, when she spotted something odd in the water, newspaper Fredriksstad Blad’s web site reports.

What she spotted was longer than she was tall – a 1.7 meter sølvkveite  (‘silver halibut’, or dealfish) – which is not a pretty sight. It is also not a common sight, being a deep water fish and tending to stay between 200 and 900 meters below the surface. The dealfish can grow to a length of three meters – just under ten feet long.

“It didn’t look like a fish, I thought it was just something floating in the water,” Nathalie told newspaper VG’s web site. “It’s body was so wide it was almost like seeing a bathtub floating out there,” added father Jøran.

The injured beast swam towards land, which father Jøran called a ‘shocking, surrealistic sight’, and ended up on the pebbled shore, where the Saxegårds and a few passersby managed to haul the massive creature out of the water.

The family’s first thought, like most Norwegians in summer time, was to fire up the barbecue and feast, but they quickly changed their minds.

“Our neighbor tried to fry a piece, but it just turned into a sticky mess. So we divided it up and gave the seagulls a real party,” Jøran said.

The VG article on the event has a neat picture showing how large the fish was compared to young Nathalie, and ‘Fiskipedia’ has some nice dealfish pictures and detailed information about the creature in Norwegian.

And for a lively English language blog from the Fredrikstad area, follow Elusive Moose!


One response to “Creatures from the deep

  1. I believe that the fish was misidentified. Since it turned into a sticky mess when exposed to heat, it had to have been a “Lutefish”, and I am shocked at the episode of massive cruelty to seagulls.

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