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HOME > Travel Magazine > Niigata Prefecture > The friendly “Kobudai”, the Asian sheepshead wrasse that appeared in the film “Oceans” lives in Sado Island. When I saw them in the film, I suddenly want to dive in the sea of Sado Island.

新潟県佐渡島スキューバダイビングとコブダイ

The friendly “Kobudai”, the Asian sheepshead wrasse that appeared in the film “Oceans” lives in Sado Island. When I saw them in the film, I suddenly want to dive in the sea of Sado Island.

2019/04/20

 

The sea of ​​Sado Island is beautiful and its offshore is rich in many kinds of fishes because the warm current, Tsushima Current and the cold current, Liman Current run together at there. It is very popular as a diving spot because sometimes you can see fishes from the north and south together. The must-see fish will be the Asian sheepshead wrasse inhabits the sea of Sado island. Currently among the Asian sheepshead wrasse which can be found in the sea of Sado Island, the largest one is around 80cm. In spite of its appearance, the Asian sheepshead wrasse is very nervous and it is unique point of Sado Island that you can see them swim leisurely in front of the divers.

When writing Asian sheepshead wrasse in Chinese character, it will be a bream (Tai/Dai) with a wen (Kobu), however, biologically they are a family of wrasse. They like to eat something hard, such as turban shells, oysters, crabs and shrimps. There are many Asian sheepshead wrasses in the Sea of Japan and Seto Island Sea. Sado Island of Niigata prefecture is the northeast habitat of the Sea of Japan. As they grow up, they transform their gender from female to male. When they complete their transformations, the wens are bulged out and also their jaws are stuck out. They are strongly territorial fishes. The length of the male body can be reach about 80 cm and for the large one, it will exceed 1m. Female of Asian sheepshead wrasse is called Kandai, and it is considerably smaller than males. Female do not have bulged wens like male and their body length are about half of that males, so in the past, it was considered as a different fish from Asian sheepshead wrasse.

Dekoppachi came to the reign as a boss for about 20 years in this red rocks. He has unique huge wen just like Musashibo Benkei who is a famous Japanese warrior monk wearing a hood, so he was popular with the name of “Benkei” rather than Dekoppachi. Since the red rocks at the offshore of Kitakoura is rich in food, its territory has been fought with Benkei and Golby which was No.2 of this offshore. Just like breaking the shore reefs, Benkei lives in the side which has more food and Golby lives in the opposite side. For a long time, they have been fought as rivals, however in the autumn and winter of 2012, both of them disappeared. It seems that both of them died of old ages, and it is considered that the age of Benkei and Golby was around 30-40 years old. In the summer of 2013, divers of Sado Island gathered and held a “farewell party” for Benkei and Golby.

After their death, a new boss who took over the territory of Benkei and his name was “Yamato”. This is because his powerful face look like the captain of the cartoon “Space Battleship Yamato”. And paying the respect to the former boss, the divers of Sado decided to use the name of “Benkei” as a general name of male Asian sheepshead wrasses of Sado Island.

The Asian sheepshead wrasse is a very nervous fish, so if they have divers around, they will swim away. However, the Asian sheepshead wrasse in the offshore of Kitakoura, Sado island came close to the divers when they are around. This is because the divers of Sado have been feeding them patiently for a long time.

 

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