Japan and Australia researchers have set a record for the “deepest fish” ever filmed. In other words, they found a fish at the greatest sea depth ever – more than 8km (5.1 miles) – and it’s the deepest a fish has ever been caught on camera.
[Related reading: A new species of deep-sea crown jellyfish caught on camera]
Researchers from the University of Western Australia (UWA) started a two-month expedition in August 2022 with the goal of exploring the deep trenches around Japan in the North Pacific Ocean. The mission is part of a 10-year study, learning about the deepest fish populations in the world. It set to explore the Japan, Izu-Ogasawara and Ryukyu trenches at 8,000m, 9,300m, and 7,300m deep respectively.
The record was set in the Izu-Ogasawara Trench, south of Japan. This is where the team managed to film this unknown snailfish species of the genus Pseudoliparis. It was taken at a depth of 8,336m. Isn’t it incredible? UWA explains that the team collected two fish in traps from 8,022m deep only a few days later in the Japan Trench.
“These snailfish, Pseudoliparis belyaevi, were the first fish to be collected from depths greater than 8,000m,” UWA explains, “and have only ever been seen at a depth of 7,703m in 2008.”
“The Japanese trenches were incredible places to explore; they are so rich in life, even all the way at the bottom,” said UWA Professor Alan Jamieson, founder of the Minderoo-UWA Deep Sea Research Centre and chief scientist of the expedition. “We have spent over 15 years researching these deep snailfish; there is so much more to them than simply the depth, but the maximum depth they can survive is truly astonishing.”
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