A small orange seahorse is among three new fish species discovered by New Zealand scientists in a survey of the Kermadec Islands.
The survey, which incorporated marine mammal sampling as well as diving and offshore sampling, is the first of its kind and was conducted over 19 days on NIWA’s research vessel, Tangaroa.
At the moment they knew at least three of the species were new. As they do more research they may find more.
The new species included the cusk eel that looked like an eel-shaped fish that’s only about 5cm long but with a very big eye.
There was also a new type of dragonet. It is very colourful with big fins and about 15cm long.
The researchers also found a small orange seahorse, which was both the first seahorse ever surveyed in the Kermadecs.
The government are hoping to make a Kermadac Ocean Sanctuary. If it goes ahead it will mean 15 percent of New Zealand’s ocean environment will be fully protected.
The law to establish the sanctuary has been delayed. The Maori Fisheries Trust, Te Ohu Kaimoana, has launched legal action over the proposal.