Antarctica, mega fish nursery with 60 million nests found

An expedition to Antarctica (Ansa)

Rome, January 15, 2022 – Discovery in Antarctica the largest fish breeding area in the world: 60 million icefish nests, distributed over an area of ​​240 square kilometers, one every 4 square meters. The gigantic nursery has therefore an extension which is equivalent to the incrica to that ofElba island. An expedition of German researchers from theInstitute Alfred Wegener thanks to cameras placed a few meters from the seabed and pulled by the ship between 535 and 420 meters deep in the Weddell Sea, in the Southern Ocean ..

According to what was then written on Current Biology, the German researchers were faced with one endless expanse dotted with fish guarding their nest, small holes 15 centimeters deep and 75 wide with approximately 2,000 eggs each. “There was literally no end,” commented Autun Purser, the biologist leading the research team.

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This is the largest fish nesting area (all belonging to the Channichthyidae family, commonly called icefish) never discovered so far and a treasure to be protected, the researchers explain. In fact, by monitoring the movements of Weddell seals, the most common in Antarctica, with GPS and cameras, the research has also shown that the newly discovered breeding area is the preferred destination for capturing activities. “Now that we know the location of this extraordinary breeding colony, it is essential to ensure that no fishing is carried out there,” commented Director of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Antje Boetius.

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