Susan Prior an avid snorkeler found a common silvery mullet with a gold wedding ring wrapped around its body while she was snorkeling in Emily Bay on Norfolk Island off the east coast of Australia. She took photos of the fish with the ring. Susan Prior is a writer, editor, and environmental conservationist based in Norfolk.
Emily Bay on Norfolk Island
According to Prior, she often sees fish caught in plastic rings from discarded juice and milk bottles. “Mullet snuffle through the sand looking for food making it so easy for a ring or hair tie to flip over their noses and get stuck,” she wrote on NorfolkIslandReef.com.au, her website. She also posted pictures of the mullet with the gold ring as well as others with plastic rings.
Left mullet with plastic ring: Right mullet with gold ring
She wrote, “Yesterday, I saw another mullet with a ring collar, but this one looked a shiny metallic gold, with a lot less algal growth compared to the plastic ones.”
Later she recalled news in local social media pages about a person who lost a ring in the bay earlier this year. She wrote, “I decided to see if I could find the possible owner. It didn’t take long for my suspicion to be confirmed; we now have a poor mullet weighed down with someone’s (expensive) gold wedding ring.”
She found out that the wedding ring belonged to Nathan Reeves. Reeves lost the ring around Christmas time while swimming at Emily Bay.
Prior hopes to catch the fish retrieve the ring and relieve the poor fish of its handicap. She knows that the task is difficult. According to her, “It is very skittish and keeps on the edge of the school.” Catching the fish needs the help of quite a few people. They would have to use a throw net and catch it. She is optimistic that the ring can be removed without harming the fish and handed over to the rightful owner.
She urges her readers to remain extra vigilant in keeping the environment clean and be aware of the consequences of our actions. She advised, “Snip those plastic rings, try to keep hair ties in your hair, and not let them float away.”
She concluded, “As for the poor mullet with the gold collar, here’s hoping we can deliver a happy ending to his story and for the owner of the wedding ring! The mullet has a life to live and it’s only fair he gets to live it.”