Here’s a subject near and dear to my heart: the coelacanth is in danger of extinction.
In case you don’t know what a coelacanth is, it’s an ugly, oil-filled fish that is so old, it’s often referred to as a “prehistoric fish,” (seriously, the species has been around for like 400 million years). It was long thought to be extinct, but a fisherman caught one off the coast of Africa in 1938. Since then, many of the fish have been found and studied, giving scientists a rare glimpse into the past.
Now, deep-trawlers off the coast of Tanzania threaten to kill the coelacanth once and for all. This article has all the details, but the basics of the story are that (once again), the local fishing trade is accidentally killing fish that it shouldn’t be.
Not all hope is lost. Groups dedicated to helping the coelacanth are educating local fishers about the fish, its rarity, and its importance. Someone has even developed a fast and safe method of returning the fish to its normal depth (between 100 and 300 meters). The Deep Release Kits, as they’re called, are small, highly portable, and extremely easy to use. Along with the kits, T-shirts were made and the instructions for using the Deep Release Kits were printed on the back.
The story of the coelacanth is truly amazing (you can read it here) and it would be a shame to see humans destroy what was described as, “the most important zoological find of the century.”0 People like this. Be the first!