New fish species found in Greenland

The discovery confirms the deep sea in the North Atlantic still hides unexplored secrets

Researchers from the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources have discovered a previously unknown species of fish in the North Atlantic off the southeast coast of Greenland.

The 30cm-long fish, which has very large eyes, has been given the Latin name of nansenia boreacrassicauda and the Danish name of ‘nordlig tykhale blyantsmelt’ (‘northern thick-tailed pencil smelt’).

According to the biologist Jan Yde Poulsen, who made the discovery, the fish was found in 2008 during an expedition of the Greenland research vessel R/V Pâimut that focused on the local halibut population.

Previously misidentified
Later, it turned out the Zoological Museum in Hamburg had already collected five samples of the same species of fish dating back to 1982, but it was misidentified as another known species.

Some 300 species of fish have been identified in the Greenlandic waters so far – of which 30 have been discovered in the past 10 years.

Poulsen decided to call this new species of pencil smelt ‘boreacrassicauda’ as ‘boreas’ means ‘northern’ in Latin, while ‘crassus’ means thick and ‘cauda’ means tail.