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INDP identifies new fish species in Cape Verde, roughear scad 03 Junho 2015

The National Fisheries Development Institute (INDP) has identified a new species of fish in Cape Verdean waters, captured by a fishing vessel in the zone of Flamengos off the island of São Vicente. The discovery came in mid-May when the boat João Baptista caught no less than seven metric tons of the fish at a depth of approximately 50 meters along the São Vicente coast. INDP specialists, who were alerted to the unusual catch, collected samples at the Mindelo fish market and confirmed the presence of the species Decapterus tabl, or roughear scad, in the country’s waters for the first time.

INDP identifies new fish species in Cape Verde, roughear scad

This fish, according to biologist Vanda Marques, is almost the same size as the well-known local black mackerel, a typical Cape Verdean species, but can be differentiated by its reddish tail. “So far, this species had been identified only in the central portion of the east Atlantic, around the islands of Ascension and Saint Helena. On the other side of the Atlantic, along the coasts of the Americas, the fish is found in Canada, North Carolina (USA), Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina. In the Pacific Ocean, it may be found in the waters off Japan, Indonesia, Australia and Hawai’i. In the Indian Ocean, it is found from Kenya to East London in South Africa,” explains a press release from the National Fisheries Development Institute.

The INDP has yet to discover the scientific reasons for the presence of Decapterus tabl in such large quantities on this side of the Atlantic. Indeed, the species represents a marine resource of commercial value, particularly at a time when the price of the popular black mackerel has increased. Based in the information provided by Vanda Marques, the new species was sold at the same price as the black mackerel at the local market.

However, according to a number of local fishermen, this is not the first time this species of fish has been caught in Cape Verde. Several affirm that the roughear scad feeds on small invertebrates and is known to them as “American mackerel” (“cavala americana”).

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