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article imageScientists: Blobfish on brink of extinction

By David Silverberg     Aug 16, 2010 in Science
Dubbed the world's ugliest animal, the rare blobfish may soon face extinction due to overfishing, scientists warn. It lives in the same depth as popular fisherman prey such as lobsters and crabs.
The strange-looking face of the blobfish should actually be frowning these days – its population is facing severe depletion, scientists say, because of fishermen are inadvertently dragging the gelatinous fish in its deep-see trawlers.
The blobfish, commonly found in its south eastern Australian habitat, is rarely seen by humans.
Marine expert Professor Callum Roberts, from University of York, told the Telegraph: "The Australian and New Zealand deep trawling fishing fleets are some of the most active in the world so if you are a blobfish then it is not a good place to be."
He went on to say, "There are some deep water protected areas around sea mounts in the Southern Ocean but that is only really to protect coral and not the blobfish."
How did the blobfish look the way it does? As Yahoo News explains, the fish's odd appearance relates to the depths which it inhabits. "Due to the enormous pressure, gas bladders become insufficient to stay afloat. Consequently, the blobfish has developed gelatinous flesh with a density less than water."
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