A new species of fish was recently discovered

With less than 80 percent of the world’s oceans mapped out, the opportunities to discover a new species of marine life are nearly endless. According to the NOAA, 91 percent of all marine species are yet to be discovered. Anything from fish, cephalopods, crustaceans, coral, and worms secretly live in the depths of the abyss. While they haven’t found a living megalodon, researchers found the year’s first new species.

On Jan. 19, researchers found a new species of fish named Pyrolycus Jaco in Jacó Scar, a hydrothermal seep site off the coast of Costa Rica. The fish is known as an eelpout, which is a family of fish that are characterized by their eel-like appearance. It is a pinkish purple in color. Unlike other eelpouts, it has a shorter head and a different orientation of sensory ports across its body.

Finding any new species in the ocean is important because in turn we know more about our oceans. Learning about the ocean is integral to maintaining it and keeping it healthy. With overfishing, pollution, and the changing climate, we know very little about the oceans we are trying to preserve. Maybe even this new species of fish is endangered already, and we didn’t even know about it. While yes, most of what don’t know about the ocean is too far down to even see, some fishing nets can reach lower depths, harming animals such as the blowfish.

On a more positive note, ever since Covid, pollution rates have gone down and the hole in the ozone layer has shrunk. The Great Barrier Reef is also recovering somewhat, even though it is still in danger. So it turns out, the little fish might just be okay.