Japan captures huge bony fish off Suruga Bay

41
2
Japan captures huge bony fish off Suruga Bay

A yokozuna slickhead scares other fish more than 2 kilometers deep off Suruga Bay in October 2021. Japanese researchers said they had taken images of a 2.5 meter long yokozuna slickhead, possibly the world's largest known deep-sea bony fish, provided by the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology.

The fish was captured by JAMSTEC on video more than 2 kilometers deep off Suruga Bay in Shizuoka Prefecture in October 2021, primarily from the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology.

JAMSTEC reported that the yokozuna slickhead was a new species only in January of last year. It is believed to be an apex predator in deep waters off Suruga Bay.

Six yokozuna slickheads have been caught, but the largest is 1.4 meters long.

The research team surveyed ecosystems in four sea areas, including the one off Suruga Bay, that were designated as environmental preservation zones under the Nature Conservation Law in 2020.

DNA was collected from seawater in the zones and analyzed in the study, including samples later confirmed as that of yokozuna slickhead, according to the scientists.

The researchers sent three cameras fitted with fish food to the 2,091 meter deep seafloor about 400 kilometers off Suruga Bay.

One of the cameras caught footage of a yokozuna slickhead driving away other fish from the container of food. The researchers estimated the length of the predator at 2.5 meters based on the size of the container.

The scientists said this could be the world's largest bony fish, which inhabits waters more than 2 kilometers deep.

Yoshihiro Fujiwara, a principal researcher who specializes in deep-sea biology at JAMSTEC's Marine Biodiversity and Environmental Assessment Research Center, said the one spotted this time was so huge that we repeatedly recalculated its size.

He said there is a possibility that large unidentified deep-sea fish variants inhabit other waters as well.

The team's findings were published on July 1 at https: doi.org 10.3389 fmars in the Frontiers in Marine Science journal. v 3 vciHNmCMLw