A rare pink handfish that is native to Australia has been spotted for the first time in 22 years off the Tasmanian coast. Experts call it endangered after analyzing it and finding that there is a fear of survival for them and after not being seen for 22 years.
The “walking” handfish was previously found only five times and was last seen by a recreational diver off the coast of the Tasman Peninsula, south-east of Hobart, in 1999. Australian researchers believe that the new vision shows the fish in deeper and more open waters than they had ever lived before.
“This is an exciting discovery and offers hope for the ongoing survival of pink handfish, as clearly they have a wider habitat and distribution than previously thought,” said lead researcher and marine biologist Neville Barrett, an associate professor at the University of Tasmania.
The fish has peculiar specifications where it walks along the sea bed with oversized “hands” and it lives under the shallow waters where there are sheltered bays and it is 150 m deep in Tasmania’s coast.
To survey the coral, lobster, and fish species, a team of researchers has already set the camera on the seabed of the Tasman Fracture Marine Park earlier. One of the research assistants trawling through the footage spotted the peculiar creature among the crowd of larger animals attracted to the bait.
Pink handfish is one of 14 types of handfish seen around Tasmania, the island south of the Australian mainland.