Blobfish ugliest animal!
The blobfish is being championed by the Ugly Animal Preservation Society. Photo: Kerryn Parkinson © Norfanz Founding Parties
The Ugly Animal Preservation Society has named the “world’s ugliest animal”, the blobfish, as its new mascot.
The organisation said that it is “dedicated to raising the profile of some of mother nature's more aesthetically challenged children”. The blobfish was voted in by the public and announced as the winner at the British Science Festival in Newcastle.
Simon Watt, biologist and TV presenter, and president of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society, told BBC News that he hoped the campaign would draw attention to the threats facing these weird and wonderful creatures. He said that animals like pandas are protected because they’re “cute”.
"I have nothing against pandas," he said, "but they have their supporters. These species need help."
The blobfish fought off competition from the kakapo, a flightless parrot; the axolotl, a salamander; the Titicaca 'scrotum' water frog; and the proboscis monkey.
The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) said that, despite its looks, the blobfish is as important as any other marine animal.
Blobfish used to be caught in deep water trawl fishing gear quite often around the south east Australian coast, until AFMA closed large areas of their habitat to protect them and other fish species such as orange roughy. Blobfish are now a rare catch.
AFMA says that regardless of this award, it believes it is important to look after all the marine species, not just the ones that end up on our dinner plates…and says ‘blobfish and chips’ probably wouldn’t be a big seller away!
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