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Scientists likely to name new fish after US President Barack Obama to honour his decision to create new protected area of Hawaiian coast

The dorsal fin coloration of the male is a circular red spot ringed with blue which scientists said reminded them of Obama's campaign logo

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Obama
President Obama

WASHINGTON, September 3, 2016: Scientists are set to name a new fish after US President Barack Obama honouring his decision to create a new protected area of the Hawaiian coast.

The National Geographic reported on Friday that the maroon and gold creature, which was discovered 300 ft deep in the waters off Kure Atoll, is the only known fish to live within Papahanaumokuakea, an expanse of coral reefs and seamounts home to more than 7,000 species, CNN reported on Saturday.

Last week, Obama established the largest protected marine sanctuary in the world when he more than quadrupled the size of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument to protect reefs, marine life habitats, and other resources.

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The expansion will add 442,781 sq.miles to the monument, making it now a total of 582,578 sq.miles.

The dorsal fin coloration of the male is a circular red spot ringed with blue which scientists said reminded them of Obama’s campaign logo, CNN reported.

“It’s very reminiscent of Obama’s (campaign) logo,” Richard Pyle, a marine biologist, told the magazine.

“How appropriate that a fish we were thinking about naming after him anyway, just to say thank you for expanding the national monument, happens to have a feature that ties it to the President.”

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 The species was discovered this past June during a research trip to Kure, the world’s northernmost atoll, CNN reported citing the National Geographic.

This is not the first time Obama has had a fish named after him.

Scientists named an aqua and orange speckled freshwater darter found in the Tennessee River Etheostoma Obama in 2012, CNN added. (IANS)

Next Story

Bluefin Tuna Sold At an Auction for a Record $3 Million

Decades-old Tsukiji was one of Japan’s most popular tourist destinations as well as the world’s biggest fish market.

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A prospective buyer inspects the quality of a frozen tuna before the first auction of the year at the newly opened Toyosu Market, new site of Tokyo's fish market, in Tokyo, Jan. 5, 2019. VOA

A 612-pound (278-kilogram) bluefin tuna sold for a record 333.6 million yen ($3 million) in the first auction of 2019, after Tokyo’s famed Tsukiji market was moved to a new site on the city’s waterfront.

The winning bid for the prized but threatened species at the predawn auction Saturday was more than double the 2013 annual New Year auction.

It was paid by Kiyomura Corp., whose owner Kiyoshi Kimura runs the Sushi Zanmai chain. Kimura has often won the annual auction in the past.

Japanese broadcaster NHK showed a beaming Kimura saying that he was surprised by the high price of tuna this year. But he added: “The quality of the tuna I bought is the best.”

Tuna
A prospective buyers inspect the quality of tuna before the first auction of the year at the newly opened Toyosu Market, new site of Tokyo’s fish market, Jan. 5, 2019, in Tokyo.

Prices above normal

The auction prices are way above usual for bluefin tuna. The fish normally sells for up to $40 a pound ($88 a kilogram) but the price rises to more than $200 a pound near the year’s end, especially for prized catches from Oma in northern Japan.

Last year’s auction was the last at Tsukiji before the market shifted to a new facility on a former gas plant site on Tokyo Bay. The move was delayed repeatedly because of concerns over soil contamination.

Fish face extinction

Japanese are the biggest consumers of the torpedo-shaped bluefin tuna, and surging consumption here and overseas has led to overfishing of the species. Experts warn it faces extinction, with stocks of Pacific bluefin depleted by 96 percent from their pre-industrial levels.

Tuna
It was paid by Kiyomura Corp., whose owner Kiyoshi Kimura runs the Sushi Zanmai chain. Kimura has often won the annual auction in the past. Pixabay

“The celebration surrounding the annual Pacific bluefin auction hides how deeply in trouble this species really is,” said Jamie Gibbon, associate manager for global tuna conservation at The Pew Charitable Trusts.

There are signs of progress toward protecting the bluefin, and Japan and other governments have backed plans to rebuild Pacific bluefin stocks, with a target of 20 percent of historic levels by 2034.

Also Read: The Final Take On Benefits of Fish Oil and Vitamin D

Decades-old Tsukiji was one of Japan’s most popular tourist destinations as well as the world’s biggest fish market. The new market opened in October. A few businesses stayed in Tsukiji but nearly all of the 500-plus wholesalers and other businesses shifted to Toyosu.

Tsukiji is scheduled to be redeveloped, though for now it’s being turned into a parking lot for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. (VOA)