Many species of fish are occasional vagrants to British
waters, especially some pelagic species that are brought to our
shores by oceanographic currents.
Luvarus imperialis is a tuna-like fish that is the only
member of its family (Luvaridae). It is an oceanic species that
feeds on gelatinous zooplankton and can grow to nearly 2 m in
length. They are rare vagrants to British waters.
Pilot fish: Naucrates ductor is a
pelagic and oceanic species that associates with sharks, whales,
sea turtles and even boats. Occasional vagrants are captured in the
south-western waters of the British Isles.
Pteroplatytrygon violacea is a little-known stingray that
is often captured in pelagic longline fisheries targeting tuna and
tuna-like species in high seas fisheries. In recent years they have
been reported south-west of Ireland, and two specimens have been
captured in the North Sea.
Identifying unusual fish
If you find or catch an unusual fish, perhaps one you don't
recognise, please provide:
- where you found the fish (latitude and
- how you caught it (if applicable)
- when you found or caught the fish
- the size of the fish
- a photo of the fish, or a general
description (if the fish is not one that you
- any other information that you think might be relevant or
Then contact Cefas scientist, Jim Ellis. He will try to
identify the species from the information provided. In addition,
your information could be help us to build up a more comprehensive
picture of the life in UK waters.