TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - A prehistoric fish coelacanth was seen caught again inside fisherman’s net in the North Sulawesi water around Gangga Island on November 5. Determination by the Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI) confirmed the fish is Latimeria menadoensis.
Fish taxonomi experts from LIPI, Teguh Peristiwady said the fish has charactiristic of L. Menadoensis that rarely come to the surface. Its habitation is over 150-meter deep underwater.
“So lucky that we could have one new whole specimen,” said Teguh in the workshop about coelacanth in the LIPI Oceanography Research Center in Ancol, Jakarta, November 12.
“Refering to the rope holding the net when it scooped down, it could reach 400-meter depth.”
The fish becomes the seventh found in Indonesian water. The first coelacanth was found in Manado water, North Sulawesi in 1998. It was 130-centimeter long while the latest caught is 128.5-centimeter long and 32-centimeter wide.
“It weigh aroound 22 kilograms,” Teguh added.
Coelacanth is pre-historical fish estimated to first appear on earth around 400 million years ago. Initially thought as extincted, the coealacanth was found reappear for the first tim in Africa in 1938. There are only two species of this fisch, one live in east water of Africa and the other in east water of Indonesia.
The coelacanth is currently protected and is included on the red list of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
GABRIEL WAHYU TITIYOGA