Kerry Hewitt, National Aquarium Napier adds his thoughts
A never seen before fish has been spotted by divers at the Kapiti Marine Reserve in the Wellington region of New Zealand. Kapiti Marine Reserve is a nationally significant ecological and scientific area over which the cold Southland current meets the warm waters of the d’Urville current from the west, resulting in fascinating overlaps of marine plants and animals.
This lone unidentified fish has had scientists baffled – a number of New Zealand, Australian and Chilean fish experts have said they have not seen a fish like this before. The fish is 20cm long and looks like a tarakihi but carries the distinctive markings of a red moki. It was first spotted in mid-January and has continued to be spotted a few times since.
Scientists are discussing two theories – is the fish a hybrid of the red moki and tarakihi? Or, could it be a different and unidentified species that has come in from overseas? Both theories are highly unusual and require more information.
Kerry Hewitt at the National Aquarium in Napier commented on the patterns of the fish. Could it be a tarakihi with unusual markings and colour morphs? There are so many mysteries in our oceans and numerous species that are yet to be identified and recorded. This fish has been spotted in a protected Marine Reserve where it is illegal to take the fish for genetic testing, and in-situ photography isn’t sufficiently clear to make the best assessment.
With a number of sightings recorded over the last two months, there is a chance many more divers will have the chance to add their theories on our mystery fish.
There are multiple theories as to exactly what the creature is.
Source: 1 NEWS