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One Fish, Two Fish…Obama Fish

Richard L. Pyle/Bishop Museum
Richard L. Pyle/Bishop Museum

Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have named a fish after President Obama.

The Tosanoides Obama was discovered on a NOAA expedition to the Papah?naumoku?kea Marine National Monument in June.  It’s found around 300 feet of water and is related to the Japanese sea bass.  Randy Kosaki is NOAA’s Deputy Superintendent for Papah?naumoku?kea Marine National Monument. He says scientist wanted to recognize the president for enlarging the monument which is now the largest permanent marine protected area on Earth, at 582,578 square miles.

Brian Skerry/National Geographic
Credit Brian Skerry/National Geographic

Last September, the president was given a picture of the fish that now bears his name during his trip to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge within the Monument. The photograph was presented to Mr. Obama by famed undersea explorer Sylvia Earle, and the exchange will be featured in the National Geographic film, “Sea of Hope: America's Underwater Treasures” scheduled to be released January 15, 2017. The fish is not the first species to be named after President Obama… he also has a trapdoor spider, a speckled freshwater darter fish, and an extinct lizard.

The study is published in the open-access scientific journal ZooKeys

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