Scientists surveying ocean floor turn up new fish off Alaska

    Federal scientists sampling commercial fish species off Alaska's Aleutian Islands keep finding new species.

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Federal scientists sampling commercial fish species off Alaska's Aleutian Islands keep finding new species.

    Biologist Jay Orr of the Alaska Fisheries Science Center, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has helped name more than a dozen new species over the last decade.

    A dozen more are waiting to be described.

    Many are varieties of snailfish, which can be found in tide pools but also in the deepest parts of the ocean.

    Researchers recorded them swimming nearly 27,000 feet below the surface in the Marianas Trench, making them the deepest-dwelling vertebrate on the planet.

    Orr and his colleagues conduct abundance surveys of cod, rockfish and flatfish and other "bottom fish."

    He says he suspects that researchers are just scraping the top of the distributions of some deep-water groups.

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