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Rare Sunfish Encounter by Divers in Fiordland National Park Provides Valuable Research Opportunity

Rare Sunfish Encounter by Divers in Fiordland National Park Provides Valuable Research Opportunity

Divers in Fiordland National Park had a rare encounter with a newly discovered species of sunfish. The divers were removing invasive seaweed when the

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Divers in Fiordland National Park had a rare encounter with a newly discovered species of sunfish. The divers were removing invasive seaweed when they came across the sea creature, known as mola tecta. The sunfish, named in 2017, is the first new species of sunfish to be identified in 100 years. The divers captured the encounter on video, which could provide valuable information for researchers studying the sunfish. The footage showed that the sunfish was agile, dispelling the misconception that they are clumsy. The discovery was made possible through biosecurity work funded by the Jobs for Nature program. Environment Southland has allocated funding to continue this important work in the coming year. The divers are eager to return to the site to collect more footage and information about this elusive species.c

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