Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) used growth rings in the fish's ear bone, or otolith, to make their age estimate.
NOAA scientists also found that the fish's advanced years had yet to take a toll on its reproductive abilities.
"The belly was large," NOAA researcher Paul Spencer told the Associated Press. "The ovaries were full of developing embryos."
A Seattle, Washington-based ship caught the 44-inch-long (112-centimenter-long), 60-pound (27-kilogram) fish while trawling for pollock at about 2,100 feet (640 meters) below the surface. The massive mama was among ten shortrakers pulled from the depths along with roughly 75 tons of the smaller commercially fished species.
Friday, April 06, 2007
ONE FOR THE AGES
From the Bering Sea came forth a shortraker rockfish at least 90 years old. She was pregnant. According to National Geographic:
Not quite a record -- the largest measured rockfish was 47 inches long, and the oldest was 157 years. Click the link and check out this fish.