American President, Barak Obama, has been honoured by having a new species of fish named after him. The small pink and yellow coral fish has received the official scientific name, Tosanoides obama.
This new species was discovered on a dive to 300 feet at Kure Atoll, within the Hawaiian Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. This is the same marine conservation area that President Obama expanded by way of his executive authority under the U.S Antiquities Act in August this year. The reserve was expanded to cover an area of 582,578 square miles, making it the largest permanent marine protected area on Earth.
NOAA scientist Randall Kosaki, the chief scientist on the cruise when Tosanoides obama was discovered shared why discovering this new species is so important. “The new fish is special because it is the only known species of coral-reef fish endemic to the Monument (meaning that the species is found nowhere else on Earth). He added “Endemic species are unique contributions to global biodiversity. With the onslaught of climate change, we are at risk of losing some of these undiscovered species before we even know they exist.”
“We decided to name this fish after President Obama to recognize his efforts to protect and preserve the natural environment, including the expansion of Papahānaumokuākea,” said Dr. Richard Pyle, Bishop Museum scientist and lead author of the study. “The spot on the males is reminiscent of President Obama’s campaign logo,” said Pyle. “It seemed especially appropriate for a fish named in honor of the president.”
This is one of two new species that has been discovered this year in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Don’t miss you opportunity to dive the rich Hawaiian waters. Book now and join a discounted cruise on selected dates to Kona Island and Hawaii with the Kona Aggressor II liveaboard in 2017.