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World’s Largest Fish Breeding Habitat Discovered In The Weddell Sea, Antarctica

1 min read
ALFRED WEGENER INSTITUTE/PS124 AWI OFOBS TEAM

Nearly 60 million nests of Antarctic icefish spread over a 240 square kilometres area detected

According to the latest discovery, there is a fish breeding colony nobody believed to exist . The colony has about 60 million active nests, with each nesting 3 sq meters on average. The colony is approximately 240 sq Kms in size. It is believed to be the largest fish breeding colony on the planet. Totally unexpected, it’s far far larger than any other known community of nesting fish- fully one third larger than the area of Washington, D C. It is in Antarctica’s ice- covered Weddell sea, a spawning colony of 60 million fish has been discovered.



The ecology, which was previously unknown, spans an area the size of Malta. It is thought to be the largest fish breeding colony on the planet. The breeding colony was discovered by the German polar research vessel Polar Stern in February, 2021. The researchers were measuring ocean currents when they made the unexpected finding. The icefish colony study was published in the Journal-Current Biology. Icefish (Neopagetopsis Ionah) with a see-through skull & transparent blood live in the large colony. The only vertebrates without red blood cells are icefish. To prevent ice crystals from developing & surviving at such low temperatures, the fish have evolved an antifreeze protein in their transparent blood.

ALFRED WEGENER INSTITUTE/PS124 AWI OFOBS TEAM

Govind Tekale

A retired teacher at Sainik School Kazhakootam, besides his lifelong reading passion he is now an avid writer.

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