SYDNEY – The saddest looking fish in the sea may soon be wiped out!
The blobfish is a bloated bottom dweller, living at depths of up to 800m. It can grow up to 12 inches in length, but is rarely seen by humans.
However, it is most noticeable for having the saddest face in the ocean! Its appearance is due to its ability to live at depths where pressure is several dozen times higher than at sea level. To remain buoyant, it evolved to have flesh slightly denser that water, allowing it to float about without the use of muscles.
Surprisingly, it is in danger of being overfished. Not because it is in high demand, or any demand for that matter, but because it is being dragged up with tastier catches like lobster and crab.
Deep-sea expert Professor Callum Roberts was very troubled over the blobfish’s chances of survival. “The Australian and New Zealand deep-trawling fishing fleets are some of the most active in the world so if you are a blobfish then it is not a good place to be.
“Blobfish are often mistakenly caught by fishermen trawling for lobsters, which also often live at great depths. A very large amount of the deep sea is under threat from bottom trawling, which is one of the most destructive forms of fishing.
“There are some deep-water protected areas around sea mounts in the Southern Ocean but that is only really to protect coral and not the blobfish.”