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CANCELLED // Lecture: Pearlside Story

May 15, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Unfortunately, this talk has been CANCELLED.

We hope to reschedule it for a future date. Stay tuned!

TALK CANCELLED –In February 2019, CCS Marine Fisheries Research director Owen Nichols and Tasia Blough, researcher and marine educator, were walking on Coast Guard Beach in Eastham, MA when Tasia discovered a tiny, lifeless silver fish among the rocks and wrackline.

Tasia quickly recognized it as a deep ocean fish covered with light organs, similar to the myctophids she had studied before. Owen spent the next hour trying to find another one with no luck. When they returned home, they used an ultraviolet light to examine the fish, revealing the exquisite detail of its bioluminescent light organs.

Owen had this to say about her find, “I had never seen one of these fish before, and they are notoriously difficult to key out to species, but I dusted off the old copy of Bigelow and Schroeder’s 1953 Fishes of the Gulf of Maine that I keep in my home office, and I’m fairly certain this is a pearlside (Maurolicus species). From what little we know, this species may be found as deep as 1500 meters, in the bathypelagic zone. The odds of encountering one of these on a beach on Cape Cod must be relatively small, although Bigelow and Schroeder did note a few records from beaches in Nahant and Provincetown in the early-mid 1800s and there is evidence to suggest they occur in shallow water more commonly than we think! They approach the surface at night, and are a known prey of cod and pollock — keep an eye out for these tiny little fish in the bellies of bigger fish or along the beaches!”

Join Tasia and Owen for an evening of discovery and details of these fishes from the deep.


May 15, 2019
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:


Center for Coastal Studies
5 Holway Avenue
Provincetown, MA 02657-1430 United States
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