New Fish Species Named After President Obama

Posted: Sep 3 2016, 2:03am CDT | by , Updated: Sep 3 2016, 2:19am CDT, in News | Latest Science News


New Fish Species Named After President Obama
Courtesy of Richard Pyle

Maroon and gold fish found in Papahānaumokuākea has been named after President Barack Obama

Scientists have named a fish species after President Barack Obama.

The fish was recently discovered by a scuba diver named Richard Pyle in Papahānaumokuākea at the depths of 300 feet and is the only know fish species to be discovered with this marine national monument, which is home to more than 7,000 species including endangered seals, seabirds and turtles. All of the other 17 genera and 22 fish species are found only in the northwest Hawaiian Islands in and around the monument.

The maroon and gold creature belongs to genus Tosanoides and has been named Obama to acknowledge President's decision for establishing world’s largest protected area in Hawaii. The existing ocean reserve off Hawaii will expand to more than half a million square miles after adding 442,781 square miles into it. That’s twice the size of Texas. 

The purpose of this expansion is to preserve the marine environment and vast array of marine life living inside it.

“It’s very reminiscent of Obama’s (campaign) logo,” said Richard Pyle, who discovered the fish species in June this year. “How appropriate that a fish we were thinking about naming after him anyway, just to say thank you for expanding the national monument, happens to have a feature that ties it to the president.”

When President Obama landed on Midway Atoll on September 1, 2016, he was introduced to his namesake fish.

This is the second time when President Obama has had a fish named after him. In 2012, a colorful freshwater fish found in river drainages in eastern North America was also named after President Obama. At the time, around 200 fish species were also named after three former presidents Jimmy Carter, Theodore Roosevelt, Bill Clinton and vice president Al Gore. Obama was chosen for his holistic approach towards ecological issues, particularly in the areas of clean energy and environmental protection.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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