For centuries scientists have thought of deep-sea pelagic fish as nomadic wanderers, in part because information about them was so limited. However, new results from the ongoing Mid-Atlantic Ridge Ecosystems program (MAR-ECO), a Sloan Foundation-sponsored component of the Census of Marine Life, have revealed that these fishes may in fact be gathering at features such as ridges or seamounts to spawn. The research has important implications for how deep-sea ecosystems should be managed to prevent devastation by deep trawling activities. MAR-ECO research expeditions have also led to the discovery of as many as six fish species new to science and the collection of some unusually large deep-sea fish specimens.
The first public presentations of results from MAR-ECO will be made at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in Honolulu (http://www.agu.org/meetings/os06/), from Feb. 20- 24. On Tuesday, Feb. 21, Tracey Sutton, a fish expert at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution will be discussing the MAR-ECO deep-sea pelagic fish research at a 9:00 a.m. Hawaii Std. Time (2:00 p.m. EST) press conference and at a 2:15 p.m. Hawaii Std. Time (7:15 p.m. EST) scientific session.
"We're discovering all these patterns that we've never seen before," says Sutton, "and now we're working to figure out what they mean and how they got there. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is proving to be an oasis in the desert , so to speak."
Pelagic fish are those species thought to spend the bulk of their time in open water, as opposed to staying near the seafloor. Classification has historically been determined based mainly on whether the fish are typically caught in open water trawl nets, or trawl gear that collects along the bottom. Deepwater pelagics include some of what most people would agree to be the most bizarre looking animals on the planet. Many, with their oversized fangs, aquatic scowls, and ingenious entrapment devices-- coupled witPage: 1 2 3 4 Related biology news :1
Contact: Mark Schrope
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution
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