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New deep sea animal discoveries warrant expanded protections in Costa Rican waters – Phys.Org

New deep sea animal discoveries warrant expanded protections in Costa Rican waters – Phys.Org
February 11, 2019, Schmidt Ocean Institute
Lovely college of Cutlassfish, vertically feeding within the water column. Lit up by the lights on ROV SuBastian whereas exploring on the #CostaRicaDeep expedition. Credit score: Schmidt Ocean Institute

A 3 week expedition off the coast of Costa Rica has simply expanded our information of deep sea ecosystems within the area. Led by Dr. Erik Cordes, Temple College, the scientists aboard analysis vessel Falkor surveyed the continental margin for seamounts and pure gasoline seeps, the place specialised organic communities are discovered. The seamounts extending from the mainland to the Cocos Islands Nationwide Park present an vital hall for the animals occupying the realm.

Investigating these programs on all organic measurement scales, the group targeted on relationships between species, from microbes to fauna like fish and corals. A minimum of 4 new species of deep-sea corals and 6 different animals which might be new to science had been discovered. This expedition represents the primary time that seven of the seamounts within the space have been surveyed. The survey outcomes, together with description of the coral communities that they host, will help the hassle to create a brand new marine protected space round these seamounts guaranteeing that they don’t seem to be impacted by fishing or potential mining actions.

“This analysis will help Costa Rica’s efforts to preserve these vital habitats by offering a baseline of the unbelievable species and ecosystems discovered within the deeper areas that do not all the time entice the eye that they deserve,” stated Schmidt Ocean Institute Cofounder Wendy Schmidt. “One of the vital vital issues we will do now’s perceive how these communities work, so if there are modifications sooner or later we will measure human impression.”

Chimaeras are cartilaginous fish, largely confined to deep water. Their closest residing kinfolk are sharks, although their final widespread ancestor with sharks lived almost 400 million years in the past. Credit score: Schmidt Ocean Institute

Even in deep waters, people pose a menace to those fragile ecosystems. Throughout one of many 19 remotely operated car dives the buildup of trash at 3,600 meters depth (greater than 2 miles) was found. Threats to the deep sea exist already, together with fishing and vitality industries which might be shifting into deeper water, and the persistent threat of local weather change. There are uncommon organisms and spectacular habitats on the seamounts; it is very important protect them earlier than they’re impacted by these and different threats.

One distinctive discovery through the expedition was the constant zonation of seamounts associated to the quantity of oxygen current. Reducing oxygen within the ocean attributable to a warming planet could finally have an effect on these zones dominated by corals, sea followers, sponges, brittle stars and small oysters. “Each dive continues to amaze us,” stated Cordes. “We found species of reef-building stony corals at over 800 meters depth on two completely different seamounts. The closest information of this species are from the deep waters across the Galapagos Islands. The deep sea is the biggest habitat on Earth. Understanding how that habitat capabilities will assist us to know how the planet as a complete works.”




Credit score: Schmidt Ocean Institute.

New deep sea animal discoveries warrant expanded protections in Costa Rican waters - Phys.Org - warrant, rican, protections, expanded, discoveries, costa, animal
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