The world’s biggest fish hatchery

THIS IS A part of the largest fish-breeding ground yet discovered. It occupies more than 240km2 of the floor of the Weddell Sea, off Antarctica. Each nest is guarded by a notothenioid icefish, usually the father. Altogether, there are about 60m nests, housing more than 100bn eggs. The site was discovered by Autun Purser of the Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, in Bremerhaven, and is reported in Current Biology. Dr Purser saw the first nests on a dive. Further dives revealed more. He and his colleagues then towed cameras over the site to discover its full extent. One reason animals live in crowds like this is to swamp predators. That can, though, backfire when the predator is a modern fishing vessel. For decades, there has been talk of making the Weddell Sea a protected area. Dr Purser has come up with yet another reason to do so.

Listen to this story

Enjoy more audio and podcasts on iOS or Android.

To enjoy more of our mind-expanding science coverage, sign up to Simply Science, our weekly newsletter.

This article appeared in the Science & technology section of the print edition under the headline “The world’s biggest fish hatchery”

Read More: The world’s biggest fish hatchery

Leave a comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Live News

Get more stuff like this
in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.