I want to share with you my research. Here is some background, the world is covered by 72% water and about 70% ocean. The United Nations has classified the “deep-sea” to be anything deeper than 200m/ 660ft. Now guess what percentage of the ocean is deep-sea?
Can you believe that! It is a huge amount of our oceans. The other crazy thing is we have only studied around 5% of the deep-sea. We know more about the moon and space than the deep-sea. It is one of the most unexplored areas in the world. That is why it is so exciting! I love exploration every day.
I want to figure out what kind of animals live down there. How many are there, and where there live in the water column. I use two different methods. I send down traps and camera to figure out what kind of organism live there. This is really important to study to understand what the deep-sea consist of so that we can protect it from further harm. I picked the Bahamas because it the deep-sea hasn’t been exploited yet, but it is similar to the Gulf of Mexico. Areas like the Gulf of Mexico have been fished for hundreds of years.
Do you remember the BP Oil spill? Well, oil naturally seeps from the bottom of the ocean. Bacteria breaks down the oil naturally. But not at the mass scale of the BP Oil spill. We want to know how animals could potentially be in harm.
Another threat to the deep-sea is overfishing. As we have overfished shallow water fisheries. Fishermen have been going to into deeper and deeper waters to fill the quota of their catch. In 1950 the average fishing depth was 200 meters, now the average fishing is over 600 meters. We are reaching deeper depth due to technology advancements. The fish that live at those depths live a long time and have very few young which makes them very susceptible to overfishing. With one fishing period, some animals maybe critically endangered.
This is why I started my research. Hopefully, it will inspire you!