Rare yellow blackfish caught near Swansea

IT’S called a xanthic luderick and is the equivalent of an albino blackfish.

Spearfisherman Ryan Baker was looking for bream and flathead in Swansea Channel last week when he came across his unusual catch near Pelican.

‘‘I knew it was a luderick but I thought it must have been sick. I didn’t get a good look at it until I got it out of the water,’’ Mr Baker said.

The fish has become an internet sensation with anglers offering dozens of explanations for its appearance.

‘‘When I saw the photo I was perplexed,’’ Brisbane-based marine biologist Julian Pepperall said.

‘‘I haven’t seen one of these in 30 years.’’

The xanthic luderick carries a double recessive gene that makes its skin bright yellow.

Mr Baker is thought to have caught the northern-most example of the fish.

Australian Museum fish specialist Mark McGrouther agreed the fish was rare, but not unheard of.

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