Christies opens auction to name fish species

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The naming rights for a number of marine species are to be opened up for bidding by Christies the auctioneers.

"The Blue Auction", as it has been named, is being run to raise funds for the charitable organisation Conservation International.

Many of the species offered in the auction were discovered off the coast of Bird's Head Seascape in Indonesia during the last year.

This is an area diverse in species, much of it undescribed, that is at threat from the effects of destructive fishing and mining practices.

The proceeds of the auction will go towards protecting these valuable waters.

The lotsA total of 12 lots are to be offered in the auction, including the naming rights to a new species of dottyback, a pipefish, a Chrysiptera damselfish, a lionfish and a freshwater rainbowfish, among others.

One of the more unusual lots in the auction is the naming of an unusual species of shark of the Hemiscyllium genus that has uniquely adapted to "crawl" using its pectoral fins.

The right to name a new species is normally the privilege of the person who describes it, however a group of scientists from Conservation International have foregone this right and offered the naming rights for these species up for auction in the hope of raising funds for their work.

Each species has already been described and placed in the appropriate genus, but have yet to be given a species name " and it is the right to choose this for these recently-discovered species that is being offered in the auction.

The Blue Auction is being run to raise funds for conservation programs run by Conservation International, and to afford protection to these newly-discovered species, and many others in this diversely populated area.