18 Jul 2005

Possible new species sighted by submarine scientists off American Samoa

9:41 am on 18 July 2005

US scientists who have combed the ocean floor around Fagatele Bay in American Samoa say they may have discovered some species of marine life that haven't been identified before.

Emily Lundbald of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the walls of the bay are vertical, made from old coral reefs and basalt columns.

Ms Lundbald says the bottom of the canyon is a sediment layer which harbours a great diversity of life.

"We were excited to see about 70 different species of fish and animals that we were able to identify. Some are new records for the territory, and some were not quite identified yet, so we have those descriptions to be identified, possibly registered as new records."

The US department of marine and wildlife resources also helped in the expedition.