A leisure discovery that was after snorkeling as Jasmine Santana, a 26-year-old instructor for the Catalina Island Marine Institute saw an 18-foot-long oarfish in Toyon Bay.
Oarfish are large, greatly elongated, pelagic lampriform fish and belong to the small family Regalecidae. Found in all temperate to tropical oceans yet rarely seen, the oarfish family contains four species in two genera. One of these, the giant oarfish (Regalecus glesne), is the longest bony fish alive, growing to up to 11 metres (36 ft) in length.
The common name oarfish is presumably in reference to either their highly compressed and elongated bodies, or to the former (but now discredited) belief that the fish “row” themselves through the water with their pelvic fins. The family name Regalecidae is derived from the Latin regalis, meaning “royal”. The occasional beachings of oarfish after storms, and their habit of lingering at the surface when sick or dying, make oarfish a probable source of many sea serpent tales.
Although the larger species are considered game fish and are (to a minor extent) fished commercially, oarfish are rarely caught alive; their flesh is not well regarded due to its gelatinous consistency. – excerpted from WikiPedia.com