Local fisherman startled by strange fish with teeth
It seems that post-tropical storm Irene has blown in more than just wind and rain to our region.
Vern Newcombe was fishing in the salt waters along the eastern shore of Nova Scotia on the weekend when he caught a strange-looking tropical fish near Sheet Harbour. He was surprised by both its size, and its razor-sharp teeth.
"When he swallowed, I gave him a good jig," says Newcombe. "When I got him to shore and seen what it was, it scared me."
Newcombe had hooked a rare, grey triggerfish, but it's not the sole visitor to our region. Newcombe says he spotted a massive school of roughly 100 triggerfish and some were twice the size of the one he caught at the end of his line.
"I've been fishing in that spot for 41 years," says fellow fisherwoman Audrey Fleet. "I've never seen anything like that."
Triggerfish are tropical and are not commonly found in cold Maritime waters.
"Triggerfish are one of the most advanced forms of fishes," says Jeff Hutchings, a biologist with Dalhousie University. "They have beak-like teeth so they eat mussels, starfish and they are spawning at this time of year so it wouldn't surprise me if some of the warmer waters we've seen the last month brought some triggerfish to shore."
He also says that despite the fish's sharp teeth, it's harmless to humans.
Still, Newcombe says he won't be wading in the water anytime soon, although he's excited about his strange catch.
"Oh yes, the shore was buzzing," he says of the find.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kelland Sundahl