Lesser Weever. Scientific Name: Echiichthys vipera. Usual Size: Max.14cm
For the third year running I caught a Weever Fish at Frinton, having never previously caught one in the thirty+ years before that. Whilst shrimping in bare feet and in about 3 feet of water on the flat sandy seabed between the breakwaters I caught this Lesser Weever. It is clearly recognisable with it's poisonous spines on the black dorsal fin and gill spike. The children liked looking at it in my gold fish bowl and it was all I could do to stop them trying to poke it with their vulnerable fingers but it's a confusing message when they can and want to hold the crabs and shrimps and there really are so few creatures that can harm you in the UK.
I remember a friend called Vince stepping on a Weever fish as we were pushing the boat out during a Devon dive trip at Mill Bay near Salcombe about 15 years ago and his foot swelled up and it was clearly very painful. The wound can be as mild as a bee sting or a serious as an adder bite, apparently, but you can't be sure how your body will react until you have trodden on one and so some shrimpers recommend wearing footware.