How long do you think most saltwater bony fish live for? Ten, maybe twenty years? Researcher Allen Hia Andrews investigated the age of the popular deep sea food fish, the Splendid Alfonsino, and found that they can live for sixty years – forty years longer than previous estimates.
Before his study, the age of the Japanese delicacy was estimated by looking at whole otoliths (ear bones,) the result being a guess of a maximum of 24 years of age. But Andrews used radiocarbon dating on sectioned otoliths and found that they can live two-thirds longer, to sixty. So there are sixty-year-old Splendid Alfosinos cruising the deep oceans right now that hatched in the early 1960s!
The Splendid Alfosino, Beryx splendens, is a popular food fish in Japanese cuisine and is known as Kinmedai, or Golden Eye Snapper. It can grow up to 70cm/28” in length and is found at an enormous depth range from 25-1250 meters, or 82-4100 feet. It is a temperate species with a circumglobal distribution. Dr Andrews submitted his report to the Southern Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement, and it was released today.
Image by Nesnad, CC BY 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons.