57 new Greenlandic fish species
A new checklist of the fish fauna of Greenland waters contains 57 new species.The question is whether the findings is due to rising temperatures or increased effort by scientific surveys and commercial vessels.
It is Peter Rask Møller, a danish ichthyologist,who has made the findings in collaboration with colleagues at the Zoological Museum at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and researchers from Greenland Institute of Natural Resources and DTU Aqua, Denmark. The new checklist contains 269 known fish species in Greenlandic waters.
Contact: Peter Rask Møller, Assistant Professor/curator (Ph.D.) Natural History Museum of Denmark/ Zoological Museum, tlf.+45 35 32 10 70, mob. +45 20 11 66 43, e-mail
Kaj Sünksen, Researcher, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, tlf. +299 361206, e-mail.
Although the Greenland fish fauna has been studied for more than 200 years, new species continue to be discovered. We here take the opportunity of the International Polar Year 2007-08 (IPY) to present an updated check-list of the fishes of Greenland and discuss whether the growing diversity can be explained by global warming. A total of 269 species from 80 families are known from the Greenland Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), based on published literature and specimens in museum collections.
Since the latest publication covering all known Greenland fishes [Nielsen & Bertelsen 1992], 57 species have been added. Nineteen of these (Harriotta raleighana, Centroscymnus coelolepis, Bathytroctes microlepis, Einara edentula, Ceratoscopelus maderensis, Argyropelecus gigas, Maurolicus muelleri, Polyipnus asteroides, Nansenia oblita, Melanostomias bartonbeani, Polymetme corythaeola, Coryphaenoides mediterraneus, Merlangius merlangus, Guttigadus latifrons, Entelurus aequoreus, Helicolenus dactylopterus, Epigonus telescopus, Lophius piscatorius, Linophryne bicornis) are reported here for the first time. Twenty-nine of the species were added on the basis of taxonomic revisions and/ or identification of specimens caught before 1992, whereas 28 species have been caught in Greenland waters for the first time since 1992. Ten species were new to science described since 1992.
Only five of the added species are Arctic - i.e. mainly caught north of the Davis and Denmark Straits. Of the 28 species caught after 1992, five species (Maurolicus muelleri, Merlangius merlangus, Helicolenus dactylopterus, Lophius piscatorius, Entelurus aequoreus) from the southern regions (Atlantic) are mainly from shallow waters (< 400 m) and their arrival is likely to be a result of increasing temperatures.