Scientists are set to name a new fish after US President Barack Obama honouring his decision to create a new protected area off the Hawaiian coast. The National Geographic reported on Friday that the maroon and gold creature, which was discovered 300 ft deep in the waters off Kure Atoll, is the only known fish to live within Papahanaumokuakea, an expanse of coral reefs and seamounts home to more than 7,000 species, CNN reported on Saturday.
Last week, Obama established the largest protected marine sanctuary in the world when he more than quadrupled the size of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument to protect reefs, marine life habitats and other resources.
The expansion will add 442,781 sq.miles to the monument, making it now a total of 582,578 sq.miles. The dorsal fin coloration of the male is a circular red spot ringed with blue which scientists said reminded them of Obama’s campaign logo, CNN reported.
“It’s very reminiscent of Obama’s (campaign) logo,” Richard Pyle, a marine biologist, told the magazine.
“How appropriate that a fish we were thinking about naming after him anyway, just to say thank you for expanding the national monument, happens to have a feature that ties it to the President.”
The species was discovered this past June during a research trip to Kure, the world’s northernmost atoll, CNN reported citing the National Geographic. This is not the first time Obama has had a fish named after him.
Scientists named an aqua and orange speckled freshwater darter found in the Tennessee River Etheostoma Obama in 2012, CNN added.