A massive research initiative to explore the creatures of the deep sea led to new discoveries in the North Pacific Ocean last year, when scientists photographed and captured three fish at depths not previously recorded.
As part of a 10-year collaborative study between the University of Western Australia and the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, scientists have used robotic cameras attached to a bait to film a small snailfish about 8,300 meters below the surface, Australian University announce on monday. The school considered the standard find “the deepest fish in the world”.
The achievement was announced after a two-month expedition focused specifically on deep-sea fish populations in three trenches located near Japan. The Japan, Izu-Ogasawara, and Ryukyu trenches extend 8,000 meters, 9,300 meters, and 7,300 meters respectively below the surface of the North Pacific Ocean.
snail fish They resemble a tadpole and can only grow to about 12 inches long. They are found in oceans all over the world, with some species living in relatively shallow waters. Scientists said the snailfish, discovered at a depth of 8,300 meters — more than 27,000 feet, or five miles deep — belongs to an unknown species.
They found and photographed the fish last September in the Izu-Ogasawara Trench in southern Japan, setting a world record for the deepest fish ever recorded. The footage, released on Sunday, shows the snailfish, described by scientists as very small, swimming on its own above the ocean floor.
This particular type of snailfish belongs to the family Pseudoliparis and was previously seen some 7,700 meters below the ocean’s surface in 2008, according to the University of Western Australia.
Video footage released over the weekend also shows two snailfish that were found and caught during the same research trip. At a depth of 8,022 metres, in another deep trench off Japan, a pair of fish caught in traps marked the scientists’ deepest catch ever.
“The Japanese trenches were wonderful places to explore; they are so rich in life, even at the bottom,” Alan Jamieson, a University of Western Australian professor who led the expedition, said in a statement.
“We’ve spent more than 15 years researching these deep snail fish,” Jamieson added. “There is much more to it than just depth, but the maximum depth they can survive is really amazing.”
The professor said scientists have found snailfish “at deeper depths just crawling over the 8,000-meter mark in fewer and fewer numbers” in other areas, such as the Mariana Trench – the world’s deepest – which is located in the western Pacific Ocean near Guam. But Jamieson noted that the populations explored around Japan were particularly “abundant”.
“The real message for me,” Jamieson said, “is not necessarily that they live at 8,336 metres, but that we have enough information about this environment to expect these trenches to be where the deeper fish are. In fact, until this expedition, no one had ever seen or collected a fish.” One of this entire trench.”
“Infuriatingly humble analyst. Bacon maven. Proud food specialist. Certified reader. Avid writer. Zombie advocate. Incurable problem solver.”