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Biologists Shocked to Find Millions of Icefish Nesting near Antarctica

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According to recent research, published in Current Biology, a group of marine scientists have found the world's largest fish breeding area around the Filchner Ice Shelf in the south of the Antarctic Weddell Sea. The hauled camera system has captured images and live clips of around 16000 nests of Icefish on the seabed.

One of our colossal finny tribes were discovered 1,000 feet below the sea surface of the Southern ocean last year. The Biologists surfing near the floor of the ocean were shocked to find out millions of Icefish making the world’s largest breeding ground near Antarctica.

Back in February 2021, a group of marine scientists were sailing their vessel Polarstern to track the whereabouts of ocean carbon as well as to study the effects of climate change on the local biome. While cruising under the twitchy waves, their camera spotted some species of Neopagetopsis ionah, commonly known as Icefish in the Antarctic Weddell Sea. It was, however, not a single fishnet, in fact, countless nests were caught in the range.

The scientists have accurately measured the size of such an inconceivable nest. The single Icefish nest measures around 2.5 feet across. This size is larger than the size of the Icefish itself. Moreover, the sonar captured more than 100,000 nests residing in 93 square miles (240 square kilometres) of vast nesting ground. The total number of fish nests could be estimated at around 60 million.

Interestingly, most of the active fish nests were jam-packed with thousands of eggs. An adult Icefish is there to guard its vicinity. However, scientists have also spotted some uninhibited nests with dead fishes.

Autun Purser, the deep-sea biologist at the Alfred Wegener Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research has commented on this discovery,

“The idea that such a huge breeding area of Icefish in the Weddell Sea was previously undiscovered is totally fascinating,”

This was not the first time for the nautical experts to explore the clandestine, previously, these scientists have found deep-sea sponges along the seabed. However, this time the scale of the discovery is matchless with millions of the sprawling genes.