The fish survey during China's 40th Antarctic scientific expedition will focus on a luminous fish named Electona antarctica, commonly known as the Antarctic lanternfish.
The species is pervasive in sea areas around the continent and plays an essential role in the Antarctic ecosystem.
Fully covered by light-emitting organs, the lanternfish is distinguished by its luminous body, which can grow to about seven or eight centimeters in length.
Researchers say that the fish is representative of pelagic fish that live in the ocean at a depth of 200 to 1,000 meters.
It is a member of the Myctophidae, a fish family with luminous organs that has the biggest population among the Antarctic pelagic fish.
"Myctophidae has always been a major focus of scientific research. Among all the fish of the family, Electona antarctica is critical in the food network and continent's ecosystem, because it is pervasive in the sea areas around the Antarctic and has a huge population," said Liu Chunlin, a member of China's 40th Antarctic scientific expedition team and a doctoral student at the College of Aquatic Sciences of Ocean University of China.
So far, there are approximately 32,000 species of fish found in various oceans globally. In the Southern Ocean, scientists have discovered just over 370 species.
China's fish survey in the kicked off after the team reached the Amundsen Sea on Thursday.