CMFRI identifies new fish from Indian waters

The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) in Kerala’s Kochi has identified a new carangid species of fish from off the Indian coast.

The newly-described fish belongs to the ‘queen fish’ group and is named ‘Scomberoides pelagicus’.

In local parlance, the fish is known as ‘pola vatta’.

On Tuesday the CMFRI confirmed it as a new species after detailed taxonomic and genetic analysis.

The new fish is distinct by deep ovate body, concave dorsal head profile and stout and less numerous gill rakers on the first gill arch, compared to the closely related species.

The premier fisheries research institute pointed out that there are more than 60 species of carangids in Indian seas, out of which four belong to the ‘queen fish’.

CMFRI Principal Scientist E.M. Abdussamad said in the wake of many resources being increasingly threatened by depletion owing to their increasing role in the human food chain, identification of more new fishes assumes significance as it helps enrich marine biodiversity.

“The achievement would also help in the betterment of Indian marine biodiversity status. In order to conserve marine biodiversity, information on overlooked species, their correct identification, updated taxonomic classification and grouping is the basic requirement,” he said, adding that identification of Scomberoides pelagicus would greatly help policy-makers, marine scientists and other stakeholders to work on management and conservation plans.

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