South West Wales

Blue marlin found at Freshwater East goes on display

Blue marlin on display at London's Natural History Museum Image copyright Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London
Image caption The blue marlin is on display at Hintze Hall in London's Natural History Museum

A rare blue marlin which washed up on a Pembrokeshire beach has gone on display at London's Natural History Museum.

The 13ft (4m)-long fish was discovered at Freshwater East in September last year, and initially thought to be a swordfish.

But Oliver Crimmen, the museum's senior fish curator, said it was "the first complete blue marlin to be washed up on British shores".

The museum collected the fish and it is now on display in its new Hintze Hall.

Mr Crimmen said: "The blue marlin is still highly prized by fishermen and is under threat from both commercial and trophy fishing, and the species is listed as vulnerable to extinction on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List."

Image copyright Pembrokeshire council
Image caption The blue marlin was collected from Pembrokeshire by Oliver Crimmen (r) and James Maclaine from the Natural History Museum

He said it was one of the largest of more than 900,000 fish specimens stored at the museum.

Mr Crimmen said the display would initially appear cloudy during the first few weeks after installation as the fish has been specially preserved in glycerol.

But he added: "It is hoped that this technique will give a more natural appearance, restoring some of the specimen's pigmentation."

Blue marlin spend most of their life in the open sea, far from land, and are more often associated with warmer waters.

Two of the three which have washed up in the UK were found in Pembrokeshire - the first in Saundersfoot in 2008, but it was not good enough to be preserved.

Image copyright Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

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