The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) has identified a new carangid (Vatta) species from the Indian coast.
The newly described fish belongs to the ‘queen fish’ group and is named as ‘Scomberoides pelagicus’. In local parlance, the fish is known as ‘pola vatta’.
CMFRI confirmed it as a new species after detailed taxonomic and genetic analysis.
The new fish is distinct by its deep ovate body, concave dorsal head profile and stout and less numerous gill rakers on the first gill arch compared to the closely related species.
There are more than 60 species of carangids in Indian seas, out of which four belong to the ‘queen fish’.
The newly described one is the fifth queen fish from Indian waters.
Across the world, three queen fishes have gone extinct.
“In the wake of many resources being increasingly threatened by depletion owing to their increasing role in the human food chain, identification of more new fishes assumes significance as it helps enrich marine biodiversity,” said Dr E M Abdussamad, principal scientist who identified the fish.
The new fish is available across coasts in the country, including Kerala and is highly relished and has good demand in domestic markets.
CMFRIThe Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute was established by Government of India on February 3rd 1947 under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and later it joined the ICAR family in 1967. During the course of over 65 years the Institute has emerged as a leading tropical marine fisheries research institute in the world.