Karwar, Feb 02, 2019: Rare Bluespine Unicorn fish, a fish found predominantly in the Pacific Ocean, has been netted near Devbagh off Karwar coast.
The Bluespine Unicorn fish, which resembles a porcupine, is characterised by a bony horn projecting from the head in front of the eyes. The colour of the Bluespine Unicorn fish is usually greenish-grey. The dorsal and anal fins are yellowish with thin blue lines.
The fish species is found in large numbers in tropical waters off the coast of Japan, Hawai and Australia.
Shivakumar Haragi, professor of Marine Life Studies Centre, stated that are no reports of Bluespine Unicorn fish being found in the coast off Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka in the past. In the 1980s, the fish species was found around Sri Lanka and Lakshadweep islands. There are records available on Bluespine Unicorn fish thriving near coral reefs of the Indian Ocean. A different variety of Unicorn fish was found near Salallh, Oman a few years back.”
Bluespine Unicorn fish, scientifically known as Naso Unicornis, primarily eats seaweed/algae. Seaweed is found in large quantities at Majali and Devbagh areas off Karwar coast. So, the fish might have come to this part in search of food. The local fishermen lacked information about this species of fish. Normally, Bluespine Unicorn fish are bred in aquariums, the professor explained.