Six live coelacanths, a rare species of fish, were recently sighted by divers in St Lucia Marine Protected Area, off the north eastern coast of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. "This means there must be a large colony of the fish that had been hiding from the world all this time," said Pieter Venter, one of the divers who discovered the coelacanths. The species was thought to be extinct, but in 1938 one was caught off the coast of east London. After years of search, another was discovered near the Comoros in 1952. Indonesia is the only other place in the world where they have been sighted till now. The sighting was not recorded. "It's like seeing a ufo without taking a photograph," Venter said. He and the other divers are concerned that the discovery might result in a large number of people visiting the area.
This will not only disturb the coelacanths but could also endanger them. Laws to prevent an unregulated number of people visiting the area are already being drafted, said Mohammed Valli, the country's environmental affairs and tourism minister.