Discover a rare hand-walking fish species in the Tasmanian sea floor

Divers find new populations of the world's rarest fish species, red-handed fish, which can double their numbers.

A group of divers from the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Research (IMAS) discovered the second red-handed population off Tasmania after seeing an undersea wandering individual, yesterday's Mother Nature Network reported.

Red fingerfish (Thymichthys politus) is a small fish specialized in walking along the seabed in Frederick Henry Bay in southeast Tasmania. Their characteristic red fins look very similar to their hands. Their distribution range is quite small, equivalent to the size of two tennis courts, making it difficult to find this fish and their habitat. Previously, researchers thought that only 20 to 40 individuals existed.

"They are almost the rarest fish in the world," said scientist Rick Stuart-Smith in IMAS. 'Detecting the second population has a great significance, doubling the number of red finger fish left on the planet'.

IMAS collaborates with a volunteer science project Reef Reef Survey (RLS) to conduct a dive to survey the habitat area of ​​the first red-handed population several kilometers in two days.

Picture 1 of Discover a rare hand-walking fish species in the Tasmanian sea floor
Red finger fish wandering under the sea.

'We dive for about 3 1/2 hours. We all looked at each other and thought this trip didn't seem promising. My colleague told the other divers to come up. At that moment, I drew a bunch of algae and saw the red fish ' , Antonia Cooper, technical staff of IMAS and RLS, shared.

The finding makes scientists very excited by the habitat of the new red-handed fish population that is slightly different from the previously known population, which is very significant for the survival of extremely endangered animals. this.'We have learned a lot by discovering the second population because their habitat is not the same as the first, so we know the red finger does not depend entirely on a fixed set of conditions. ' Stuart-Smith said.