Your feedback will go directly to Science X editors. The smooth handfish ( Sympterichthys unipennis) is an extinct species of handfish in the genus Sympterichthys. Other populations have been depleted to such an extent that we can no longer fish them (such as Canada's Atlantic cod, which collapsed in 1992). The species was described after a single specimen was collected on an expedition to Australia in 1802. Subscribe to CNET Now for the day's most interesting reviews, news stories and videos. There are 14 species of fish with hand-like fins. With the extinction of the smooth handfish, just 13 other handfish species are left – three of which are considered critically endangered. Be respectful, keep it civil and stay on topic. Your email address is used only to let the recipient know who sent the email. Neither your address nor the recipient's address will be used for any other purpose. Handfish are a family of 14 unusual bottom-dwelling species related to deep-sea anglerfish. Catching too much threatens populations of fished species and also their role in providing food. Thank you for taking your time to send in your valued opinion to Science X editors. bottom-trawling and dredging) and other human practices that have been globally tolerated for too long. This listing was quite a significant milestone as it is the first marine bony fish to be listed as extinct globally. © 2020 CNET, A RED VENTURES COMPANY. In addition to the smooth handfish, IUCN's recent Red List of Threatened Species also declared the Bonin pipistrelle bat, splendid poison frog, Jalpa false brook salamander and spined dwarf mantis as recent extinctions. ( J. Stuart-Smith) #endangeredspecies pic.twitter.com/hV6cT4Abjz, Though there's still hope for the remaining species of handfish, Handfish Conservation Project reported in June that a team of researchers from the Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania is "raising red handfish in captivity as part of a conservation strategy to bolster wild populations.". Its habitat has been scoured for any signs of the elusive fish for years, but none surfaced. It was endemic to waters off the coast of Tasmania, mainly the D’Entrecasteaux Channel. Handfish are unique in that they give birth to fully formed juveniles directly on the seabed instead of having a midwater stage for their larvae. Red #handfish raised in captivity at @IMASUTAS @UTAS_ as part of a #conservation strategy to bolster wild populations: 7mo old, 20 mm long. It was declared extinct by the IUCN Red List in May 2018 and once again in March 2020, marking the first entirely marine fish … "They spend most of their time sitting on the seabed, with an occasional flap for a few meters if they're disturbed," Graham Edgar, a marine ecologist at the University of Tasmania, told The Smithsonian in an interview for the July issue. Given the way many marine fish breed (through sending their larvae into the water column, where they may disperse across great distances) and how variably human pressures can affect them, confirming that a marine fish species is extinct is notoriously difficult. Like the blind cave fish threatened by cement extraction or the scaly-foot snail pushed to the brink by proposed deep seabed mining, the handfish was the collateral damage of the destructive methods used to extract resources from our planet. The smooth handfish (Sympterichthys unipennis), an unusual species that could “walk” on its pectoral and pelvic fins, is the first marine bony fish to go extinct in modern times, likely due to habitat loss and destructive fishing practices. The spotted handfish is the most common of all the handfish species. The fishing activities that probably contributed to the extinction of the smooth handfish ended 53 years ago. The Smooth Handfish, Sympterichthys unipennis, has officially been declared extinct by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the first marine Fish to … Medical Xpress covers all medical research advances and health news, Tech Xplore covers the latest engineering, electronics and technology advances, Science X Network offers the most comprehensive sci-tech news coverage on the web. This document is subject to copyright. and Terms of Use. And nine are in danger of extinction. Fish like the smooth handfish are the lifeblood of our ocean; we need to prioritise efforts to address the impacts of destructive fishing practices to ensure other species do not share its fate. NAD: Is nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide a super supplement or all hype? The trio include the spotted handfish, the red handfish, and the Ziebell’s handfish. The smooth handfish is in every sense an inspired bit of evolution. Get weekly and/or daily updates delivered to your inbox. For centuries humans believed the ocean was so vast that it was impossible to do it measurable harm. You can unsubscribe at any time and we'll never share your details to third parties. "As they lack a larval stage, they are unable to disperse to new locations -- and consequently, handfish populations are very localized and vulnerable to threats.". The story of the smooth handfish should stop us in our tracks and make us think long and hard about what price we're willing to pay for our seafood, about what lies behind the notion of "sustainable" fisheries. Péron collected the only specimen of the smooth handfish 200 years ago. Smooth Handfish goes extinct. The species is now only known from the specimen collected in that expedition; during extensive in-water surveys of the species' limited range since 2000, divers found no smooth handfish individuals, declaring it extinct. But reducing overfishing of scallops would likely not have saved the smooth handfish. or, by Daniel Steadman, Fauna & Flora International. Across its global marine programme, FFI is tackling destructive fishing. Protein folding AI: "Will Change Everything". It was a victim of the inherent seabed degradation caused by "demersal" fishing (i.e. Jeremy Gay July 5th, 2020. 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2020 smooth handfish extinction