It seems like the researchers decided to name a new species of coral-reef fish after U.S. President Barack Obama. The scientists have recently discovered a tiny yellow and pink coral-reef fish which is endemic to the Hawaiian marine protected area. After a quick debate, the researcher decided to name the fish in honor of the former U.S. President.
The small fish is now known as “Tosanoides obama.” The marine biologists discovered this species earlier this year, in June, during an expedition to Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.
The expedition was conducted by the NOAA, a United States scientific agency focused on the conditions of the atmosphere and the oceans. It is worth mentioning that many marine scientists and conservationists led by Brian Schatz, the democrat senator of Hawaii, joined their efforts to make sure that President Obama would expand the Hawaiian Marine National Monument.
Thanks to their initiative, on the 26th of August, this marine protected area has become the largest on Earth with 582,578 square miles. According to Richard Pyle, lead author of the latest study and a scientist at the Bishop Museum, the researchers decided to name the newly discovered fish after Barack Obama as a way of recognizing his contribution to the conservation of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.
Pyle explained that the expansion protects this marine area even better from many threats, such as habitat loss, poaching, and pollution just to name a few. The researchers note that male Obamas have a unique spot on their dorsal fin, which is red, yellow, and blue.
Pyle says that this spot looks like Obama’s logo during his presidential campaign. This is another reason why the scientists decided to name the fish after the former U.S. President. The NOAA marine biologists discovered this small coral-reef fish and collected a few specimens at Kure Atoll, an area located at a 1,200-mile distance of Honolulu.
The researchers stress that this is the first endemic coral-reef fish living in the Hawaiian Marine National Monument. Ocean explorer and conservationist Sylvia Earle present Obama the first photos of the fish on the 1st of September. The scientists will continue their research to find out more about this newly-discovered species.