Hafiz, whom after scientists named a fish, dies at 62

Fisheries expert Ahmed Hafiz dies at 62. (Sun Photo)

Ahmed Hafiz, whom after scientist named a fish, has died on Wednesday, at the age of 62.

Hafiz, a long-term cancer patient, died on Wednesday afternoon while undergoing treatment at Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) in Male’ City.

M. Ziyaaraidhoshuge’s Hafiz is a seasoned civil servant who has served in the government in various capacities. In this regard, he has served as a state minister at Youth Ministry, and deputy minister at Fisheries Ministry. He has also served as a member of the Board of Directors of local telecom operator, Dhiraagu.

Hafiz is also a notable figure in the sports sector – having served as the president of Basketball Association of Maldives (BAM). He also played as a goalkeeper at Club Valencia, a local football club.

Hafiz is well-versed in marine research. In 1991, he was conferred the national award of recognition for his service to the fisheries sector. He has also received the president’s special award in the category of writers in the fisheries sector.

Fisheries expert Ahmed Hafiz dies at 62.

Since a young age, Hafiz was knowledgeable regarding various fisheries species. In this regard, upon asked, he was able to provide detailed information with respect to a particular fish including areas where they can be found and the family it belongs to. He was particularly well-versed in the Maldivian maritime area and the various fisheries species found within the area. Backed by his vast knowledge, he was well-known in the field, not just in the Maldives, but also abroad. Notably, foreign scientists had named a fish discovered in the Maldives after him; Pterygotrigla Hafizi.

In 1983, Norway’s research vessel, ‘Dr. Fridtjof Nansen’, as part of a research into the fisheries species found within the vast seas of the Maldives, discovered an unknown species of fish that has never been spotted before by locals while net-based fishing off east of HA. Kelaa.

Pterygotrigla Hafizi, the fish named after local fisheries expert Ahmed Hafiz dies at 62.

Hafiz had secured the unknown species of fish after transporting it back to the Marine Research Centre. This was followed by various efforts to identify the fish. After failed attempts by British and American scientists, it was declared that the fish was a new discovery. In 2003, the fish was named after Hafiz, who had discovered it, and was gazetted in the second edition of South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity’s ‘Smithiana’ journal.

Pterygotrigla Hafizi, belonging to the Triglidae family, is a very small fish found at a depth range of 230 meters. It has a dusky color with a distinct black area over rays and membranes of rays with black pigment.