Fish Found Covered in Strange Circular Bite Marks: 'Really Weird Stuff Going On'

A fisherman has said there is some "really weird stuff going on" after pulling up three large fish covered in strange bite marks.

Tony Walker, from TK Offshore Fishing, published videos showing the carcasses of a swordfish and marlin that had been chomped on by a mystery animal. The bite marks covering the swordfish were particularly unusual, being almost perfectly circular with "very clean edges."

Walker, from New Zealand, has been a fisherman for over 35 years. He was in the Coral Sea off the coast of Australia when he pulled the swordfish and marlin on board. In a video of the blue marlin posted to Facebook, Walker examined the carcass looking at its injuries and discussing what could have caused them.

"We've had some really weird stuff going on with predation on our fish," he said. "That's not a shark. That's not a shark bite. You can see it's sucked on the fin." Further down the body, Walker shows how the marlin has been scratched, with other "weird" injuries highlighted.

swordfish
The swordfish carcass with bite marks taken from its back. Tony Walker/TK Offshore Fishing

"That whole tail, it's been sucked on or chewed on but that's not a shark. That's been scaled [...] It attacked the gills."

In the next video, Walker shows footage of a swordfish with unusual circular bite marks covering its body.

Another image of a swordfish shows how chunks of flesh have been taken from its back. Walker said the bites were "very unusual" and that it does not look like the work of sharks, which would normally attack the underside of the fish.

Walker asked followers to say what they thought might have been responsible for the bite marks. Many suggested cookiecutter sharks, a small species of shark that have been found over 12,000 feet beneath the ocean surface. Another suggestion was sixgill sharks. Many other commentators said the injuries were made by some sort of squid.

Several people said the marks could have been made by a pack of humboldt squid. These are active predators that grow up to around 5 feet in length and weigh 100lbs. Others suggested colossal squid, Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, which can reach around 30 feet in length.

One of the most prevalent answers was a giant squid, Architeuthis dux. This species can reach 43 feet in length and have huge suckers along their arms to bring prey to their large beaks that cut meat into bite-sized chunks. The giant squid then uses its tooth-covered tongue-like organ to grind its food down.

Walker later posted a Facebook video where he discussed what creature could have caused the bite marks. "Bloody interesting eh?" he said.

Some great comments on the big fish bites thanks guys. Seems a 50/50 split on big squid or of all things cookie cutter sharks. Very interesting and you...

He discounted the idea of a cookiecutter sharks, saying they were too small to make those sorts of bite marks. "I've been seeing cookiecutter bites for four decades," he said. "Never seen them leave a plug of meat behind."

"The injuries could have ben caused by a humboldt squid," Walker said. "We see quite a few 3-to-4-foot squid up there," he said. "A pack of humboldt having a crack at it. The guts looked like it had been shredded and something had come up its throat."

Walker said he had always suspected there were giant squid in the region, but that he had never had anything conclusive.

"Hey, it could be that individual fish could have been eaten by a different predator, none of them being giant squid," he said. "Who knows? You know and that's the great thing. That's why I get excited every time I sail—you never know what you're going to see out there."