New fish species found off New Zealand

Auckland, Feb 5 (IANS) Researchers have discovered a new species of rattail fish known as the eelpout near the Kermadec Island off New Zealand.

Scientists from the University of Aberdeen in Britain and the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) made the discovery in a two-week survey of the area with photos and footage of new-to-science fish.

The voyage covered waters well below the depth to which light penetrates, sampling depths between one to six km on the edge of the Kermadec Trench. It is one of the deepest places on earth with depths exceeding 10 km.

The scientists on board RV Kaharoa, from the University of Aberdeen and NIWA, used landers, with cameras attached that free-fall to the seafloor, as well as baited fish traps to attract animals, according to a NIWA statement.

Voyage leader Alan Jamieson from Aberdeen said: "The amount of data recovered during the survey was considerable. A lot can be learnt and achieved by using fairly basic equipment in the deep sea."