For the first time in 22 years, a rare pink-colored hand fish was spotted off the coast of the Australian island of Tasmania. In the past, this unusual species was observed only five times, most recently in 1999 by a diver. Fearing for its survival, local environmental authorities recently classified it as an endangered species.
As its name indicates, the species has large sized “hands” that “walk” along the bottom in addition to swimming. To immortalize the pink hand fish about 15 cm in length, at a depth of 150 m, a camera was placed at the bottom of the Tasman Rift Marine Park to survey corals, lobsters and other species living in the protected area.
After 22 years, a rare pink hand fish was spotted in Australia
The size of Switzerland, the park is known to cover an area with a long fracture in the earth’s crust that allows marine life to breed to a depth of 4,000 metres. This time the very rare fish was seen in deeper and more open waters than in the past. He was “surprised” when he came off a ledge after being bothered by a lobster.
At first the fish was fascinated by the hustle and bustle and the camera, it watched the scene for a few seconds before swimming away. “This is an exciting discovery and offers hope for the continued survival of the pink hand fish, as it clearly has a broader habitat and distribution than previously thought,” said lead researcher and marine biologist Neville Barrett, associate professor at the University of Tasmania. The pink hand fish is one of 14 species of hand fish seen in Tasmania, Australia’s southern island.
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