World Ocean Census - Extract 22 - Eyes and ears in the deep

3 July 2010

Outside of the polar regions, the rest of the deep, dark zone of the ocean – from 200 meters to more than 5,000 meters (660–16,500 feet) deep – has also contributed its fair share of new species.

The impediments of depth, pressure and inaccessibility had to be overcome to increase understanding of what lives “deeper than light” in the global ocean. The discoveries were made possible by deploying nets and trawls that can sample to great depths and by new technology – such as remotely operated vehicles equipped with high-definition cameras and video equipment, as well as autonomous submarines – that can sample under the direction of operators who remain safely on the surface. This equipment has opened up new windows to what lives below the surface.

Text and images reprinted with permission from World Ocean Census: A Global Survey of Marine Life by Darlene Trew Crist, Gail Scowcroft and James M. Harding Jr., Firefly Books, 2009

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