Saturday, April 07, 2007

You should have seen the one that got away

This is the story of the one that didn't get away, this time.

This is a shortraker rockfish. I fish for shortraker rockfish all the time... ;-)

From the National Geographic News:
Commercial fishers in the Bering Sea recently hauled in the female shortraker rockfish seen above, which scientists say was between 90 and 115 years old. Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) used growth rings in the fish's ear bone, or otolith, to make their age estimate.

NOAA scientists also found that the fish's advanced years had yet to take a toll on its reproductive abilities.

"The belly was large," NOAA researcher Paul Spencer told the Associated Press. "The ovaries were full of developing embryos."

A Seattle, Washington-based ship caught the 44-inch-long (112-centimenter-long), 60-pound (27-kilogram) fish while trawling for pollock at about 2,100 feet (640 meters) below the surface. The massive mama was among ten shortrakers pulled from the depths along with roughly 75 tons of the smaller commercially fished species.
A century old. Living at a depth of more than 2000 feet. Amazing stuff.

Hat tip to Stephen at Stephen’s Untold Stories.

Photograph by Karna McKinney, NOAA Fisheries, by way of the AP.

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