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Fraser, who had been fishing with sons Conaugh and Finn 43 miles north of the Karikari Peninsula, took photos and shared them with his fishing buddies, none of whom could identify the sea creature.
“We have no idea what it could have been, but it was quite something, and I’d never seen anything like it before,” he said.
Fortunately, the folks at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, U.K., had an idea, identifying it as a Salpa maggiore (Salpa maxima).
Paul Cox, director of conservation and communication at the aquarium, told MailOnline that a salp is barrel-shaped, moves by pumping water through its gelatinous body, and that the life-cycle includes alternate generations of existing as solitary individuals or as a group forming long chains.