Thursday, November 4, 2010

Discovery of the ugliest fish specimens in New Zealand

Exploring the depths of the New Zealand’s sea floor, some rare fish were revealed new to the world of science.

The scientists of the National Institute of Water and Atmosphere (NIWA) have discovered Specimens like Lantersharks, ghost sharks and black lizardfish which were found at a depth of around 1500 meter.

The Niwa fisheries scientist, Peter McMillan has said that the discoveries of these fish species proved how little people know about the ocean’s riches and only 0.002 percent of the marine ecosystem was analyzed.

The fish consist of a rare and strange form of body shape in order to adapt to the extreme water pressure, cold water and also the lack of light rays and food at huge depth. Many of the fish species found at greater depth were found to have small sized eyes and they are capable to make their own light so as to live in the darkness.

The rarest fish was a species of lanternshark, which was yet formally named. A silky fish with bright green eyes was said to make its own light from the underneath of its body in order to search for food on the sea floor.
As the eel may have to survive longer time without eating food, it has a large jaw and big stomach in order to allow the eel to ingest huge amount of food. Scientists have shown that eel could eat around a whole squid which is generally half of its actual size.

However, trawling to such a depth was quite costly and difficult. It could take around three hours to send a net down to the sea floor. Also, 4000 meters of wire are needed with winches so as to be able to hold the weighted net and everything it pulled from the sea floor.
The fishing gear was constructed in such a way that it could control the intense pressure which was about 200 times than at the sea surface. The scientists even used special floats which would not rupture in the sea. 

The NIWA scientists wanted to broaden their knowledge of fish distribution and ecology at deeper depths. 

The Kermadec snailfish was the only fish species that was captured at a depth of more than 6000 meters in New Zealand. 

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