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Old 16-04-2010, 23:13   #1
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Sword Wielding Sush i

Hot on the heels of my posting on giant crustaceans of the ocean deep hitching rides on ROV's, here are some pics going around the oil fleet of FFB's (fish fighting back). Apparently this is not an unusual occurrence off west coast of Africa. This Blue Marlin speared a 24 inch oil transfer pipe. I am not sure if he had something against the oil industry or he was fleeing something even bigger than him who thought he was sushi.

If it was the former, I am going to change our silver lure for a black & orange length of rubber hose for our FAD (Fish Attracting device) that has been towed behind the rig for the last 5000 nm without a single piece of sushi sacrificing itself for the crew's gastronomic pleasure.
Rough necks can not live on pizza alone.

If it was the latter and was an attack by a Sea Shepherd trained suicide marlin, then it succeeded. The facility had to shut down for a couple of days while the damage was repaired.
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Old 17-04-2010, 03:16   #2
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Verry impressive!
That pipe is tough stuff, incredible that the bill didnt just bounce off.
Would be interesting to know what motivated the fish to do that?
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Old 17-04-2010, 06:00   #3
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be happy that thefish wasn't mad at your boat!
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Old 17-04-2010, 06:30   #4
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Hard to beleave it could go thru that- it looks as if its 4" thick!
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Old 17-04-2010, 07:49   #5
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I am doubtful! On the top left pix. the spear enters the pipe between two orange stripes with lots of black on either side, on the picture below the spear enters touching a stripe. Two different occasions, maybe. I, like Ram would be surprised if a marlin's bill could penetrate the material shown which is not the actual pipe but a protective cover which you can be sure is mighty tough and put there to protect the oil carrying pipe from bumps by steel vessels or othe machinery.
However the bill of a billfish can easily penetrate a deckhand on a fishing boat and have on a couple of occasions!
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Old 17-04-2010, 08:14   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevensc View Post
I am doubtful! On the top left pix. the spear enters the pipe between two orange stripes with lots of black on either side, on the picture below the spear enters touching a stripe. Two different occasions, maybe. I, like Ram would be surprised if a marlin's bill could penetrate the material shown which is not the actual pipe but a protective cover which you can be sure is mighty tough and put there to protect the oil carrying pipe from bumps by steel vessels or othe machinery.
However the bill of a billfish can easily penetrate a deckhand on a fishing boat and have on a couple of occasions!
Steve
Dear Capt Sherlock
I can see what you're saying. But isn't there a length wise orange stripe also that his bill has skewered? Another guy on the rig here said that he was off Angola for 2 years and twice they lost pressure in similar transfer pipes due to sailfish strikes. Must not be that uncommon.

I can't vouch for the veracity of oil workers- they love TELLING tall tales and spreading scuttlebutt (Good name for a boat ) but I don't think the sender of the pic to our rig would have gone to all the trouble of photoshopping the first pic and shoving a good swordfish bill thru that dam thick rubber pipe.
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Old 17-04-2010, 12:25   #7
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Stevensc,
Good eye, I do believe there is some Tomfoolery aboard!
I know a boogie board when I see one, and that black and orange foam doesnt look like a piece of oil transfer pipe.
Also, I have caught hundreds of marlin, and have never seen one intentionally attack anything by stabbing it with the bill. The appendage is covered with rough sandpaper like texture, helps hold baitfish until it can be positioned for swallowing, is not a stabbing tool.
I have seen accidental stabbing of the boat and, on one occasion, the gaff man, with the bill, at the transom when the leader is short and the fish is disoriented, however this isnt normal feeding behavior.
If you blow up the photo, the stripes in the top left photo are some kind of wrap around the outside of the pipe, the orange looks to be an internal ply. (like in a boogie board)
Svstrider,
Black and orange is a good color for Ono, black and purple and/or blue is a better marlin color, more closely resembles Skipjack tuna, top choice on the Marlin Menu!
+++

These fish are capable of very high speeds, and the primary function of the bill appendage appears to be part of the streamlined profile that allows these speeds.
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