New marine fish species believed found off Sri Lanka

ECONOMYNEXT – New species of marine and new records of marine fish including rays and skates may have been discovered by researchers from Norway and Sri Lanka who surveyed the coastal waters of the island.

Dr. Fridtjof Nansen, a Norwegian research vessel conducted the survey during the South West Monsoon season in June and July 2018.

Researchers from Institute of Marine Research (IMR), Norway and the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) of Sri Lanka had recorded 593 species of fish during the survey as well as mammals and plankton.

Over 400 were bony fish species. They also recorded 13 species of shark and 21 species of rays. Rays are cartilaginous fish, related to sharks.

Early findings indicated that several species new to science may have been found while others have been recorded for the first time around Sri Lanka.

These include rays and skates.

More analysis is needed to find out how many species are new to science, the researchers have said.

Preliminary findings were presented in Colombo by IMR and NARA.

The survey was of marine resources are expected to provide Sri Lanka with up-to-date data to manage the country’s fisheries resources.

Ambassador of Norway to Sri Lanka Thorbjørn Gaustadsæther said that Norway is committed to bilateral cooperation on oceans and to helping Sri Lanka put in place data based management of ocean resources, helping better manage fish stocks.





The survey was funded by Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) and with the involvement of the Food and Agricultural Organization. (Colombo/Jan29/2018)

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