The largest fish hatchery in the world

Tis a Part of the largest fish farming area discovered so far. Runs more than 240 km2 From the bottom of the Weddell Sea, off Antarctica. Each nest is guarded by a snowy fish-like fish, usually the father. Altogether, there are about 60 million nests, housing more than 100 billion eggs. The site was discovered by Autun Purser of the Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, in Bremerhaven, and was reported in current biology. Dr. Purser saw the first diving nests. More dives revealed more. Then he and his colleagues dragged the cameras over the site to discover their full extent. One of the reasons animals live in crowds like this is to drown out predators. However, this may backfire when the predator is a modern trawler. For decades, there has been talk of making the Weddell Sea a protected area. Dr. Purser has come up with another reason to do so.

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This article appeared in the Science and Technology section of the print edition under the title “The world’s largest fish hatchery”

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Andrew Naughtie

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