IT is a fish normally found in deep seas off the west coast of Ireland.
So when this megrim, or ‘whiff’ as it is also known, was caught just two miles off Littlehampton’s coast in waters only 50 feet deep, the fish was clearly the catch of the day.
The deep sea dweller was caught by commercial fisherman Paul Gill on Sunday and was sold later that day by Riverside Fish, which is currently based by the oyster pond in Littlehampton while flood defences are being built.
Simon Faber, who works at Riverside Fish, said he was ‘stunned’ to see the 1lb 8oz fish had been caught in Littlehampton.
It was caught in nets along with other flat fish, such as plaice and sole.
He said: “For it to get here from the west coast of Ireland, from 1,000 feet deep water to 50 feet, I’ve got no idea how it did it.
“I can only guess when it hatched it got caught in a current somewhere and then grew here.”
Simon said he had never heard of a megrim being caught off the south coast, though he has sold them before after buying them from Billingsgate Market in London.
Despite its unusual appearance, the megrim is a flavoursome fish, Simon said, and was quickly sold to a regular customer.
He added: “It’s very, very tasty. It went to a local customer.
“Normally it takes a little bit of persuading for someone to buy a fish like the megrim because it looks a bit strange, but we do have customers who like buying fish that are a bit unusual.”
Megrim is particularly popular in France and Spain, though there has been a drive in Britain for more people to eat the fish to relieve pressure on other species.