Seaweed’s Big Adventure
Scientists discover biodiversity hotspot on Caribbean atoll
That ex-girlfriend was right — there are other fish in the sea! Scientists have discovered a biodiversity hotspot in the Caribbean, home to a (possibly) new fish species and a mini-rainforest of seaweeds. Over a two-week period at the coral-covered Saba Bank Atoll, 12 researchers braved heavy seas to dive 100 feet below the surface twice a day. They found the (possibly) new fish — a goby with orange spots — and an astonishing array of at least 20 once-unknown seaweeds. “We were literally discovering a species every day, that’s truly remarkable,” said researcher Michael Smith, who called Saba Atoll “the epicenter of diversity for seaweeds in the Caribbean.” But of course, there’s trouble: the atoll is threatened by petroleum supertankers, which crush the coral when they drop anchor on the bank to avoid nearby island mooring fees.