A new species named after Dr. Edgar Gomez, former Director of the Marine Sciences Institute at the University of the Philippines

A new species named tomiyamichthys gomezi a beautiful shrimp goby that lives commensally with the snapping shrimp, named after Dr. Edgar Gomez a former Director of the Marine Sciences Institute at the University of the Philippines for his invaluable contribution to the marine sciences.

More information along with other new species can be  found in a new book based on fish found in the The Coral Triangle, an area off the coasts of Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands, the Philippines, and Timor-Leste, is a 1.6 billion acre marine population in dire need of human protection.

tomiyamichthys_gomezi by Gerald Allen

tomiyamichthys_gomezi by Gerald Allen

According to The Nature Conservancy, “The Coral Triangle contains 75 percent of all known coral species, shelters 40 percent of the world’s reef fish species and provides for millions of people.” But the area is at risk due to pollution, badly planned development and poor fishing practices, says the World Wildlife Fund.

The threat of losing this extraordinary ecosystem led to the creation of the Coral Triangle Initiative in 2007. The initiative is a partnership between the six surrounding countries to preserve and protect the region and the marine life living in the coral.

But information about the area was lacking. “The need for an up-to-date reference to the reef fishes of this region has been obvious for decades, as scientists have traditionally relied on outdated monumental works such as M. Weber & L.F. de Beaufort’s ‘Fishes of the Indo-Australian Archipelago’, published as 11 volumes between 1911 and 1962,” said Dr. Allen. “I’m proud to note that we’ve nearly doubled the number of reef fishes previously reported from the region.”

While there is much research left to be done in the area, “Reef Fishes of the East Indies” outlines over 2,500 species, including 25 newly-discovered ones. Dr. Erdmann hopes that this publication will aid the Coral Triangle Initiative in their preservation efforts. “It is our sincere hope that this book will both inspire the people of the Coral Triangle to further appreciate the tremendous marine biodiversity they are custodians of, while also helping guide governmental efforts to better manage their marine resources for the benefit of their citizenry,” he said in the press release.

All photos and captions courtesy of Conservation International and “Reef Fishes of the East Indies”.


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