The Indian coastal region of West Bengal adjoining areas of Bay of Bengal are the rich marine biodiversity and recently a new species of eel (a snake-like fish) was discovered in the northern Bay of Bengal region along the West Bengal coast. It was collected in a trawl net by fishermen in northern Bay of Bengal, about 70 km off the coast.
The proposed name is considered as the Indian unpatterened moray. The ell species Gymnothorax indicus is slender-bodied, has 194 vertebrae. Its dorsal fin has a black margin. It is about one feet-long and edible.
Globally, about 1,000 species of eels have been identified and, in India, the number is around 125. Though considered a delicacy in many countries such as in Japan, the consumption of eels in India is limited to coastal area.
In 2015, a short brown un-patterned moray eel, named Gymnothorax mishrai (Bengal moray eel), was also discovered here. Two years ago, scientists had discovered another new species of edible marine fish Haplogenys bengalensis (Indian velvetchin) from the same area.
Scientists also believe that these newly discovered eel species may contribute to food security in the future.