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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 April, 2005, 08:44 GMT 09:44 UK
Strange fish is nursed to health
Lumpsucker fish
Staff admitted the fish was unlikely to win any prizes for beauty
A fish with a reputation for being a poor swimmer has been nursed back to health after being rescued.

The lumpsucker is on show at Underwater World, Hastings, after being treated for the "bends" - a condition suffered by divers who surface too quickly.

Lumpsuckers are found all around the British Isles and can reach 2ft in length when fully grown.

Aquarist Dan Davies said it was touch and go when local fishermen found the adult female two weeks ago.

Football-shaped fish

"She was in a sorry state when she was brought in and it was touch and go at one point," he said.

Female lumpsuckers lay between 100,000 and 400,000 eggs at a time which are often sold as imitation caviar, aquarists at the centre said.

The football-shaped fish has a suction cup on its underside which can be used to cling onto rocks to stop it being carried away by strong currents.

Staff at the aquarium admitted to BBC Southern Counties Radio that their latest exhibit was unlikely to win any prizes for beauty.

Male lumpsuckers change colour during the mating season, which is from January to May, discarding their usual blue-grey colour for bright red. They normally live deep underwater.

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