http://phys.org

Mar 03, 2014 by Geoff Vivian
Ninety-five per cent of world’s fish hide in mesopelagic zone
Most mesopelagic species tend to feed near the surface at night, and move to deeper layers in the daytime to avoid birds. Pictured:The mesopelagic ‘ocean sunfish’ (Mola mola). Credit: Chris Zielecki

An international team of marine biologists has found mesopelagic fish in the earth’s oceans constitute 10 to 30 times more biomass than previously thought.

UWA Professor Carlos Duarte says mesopelagic fish – fish that live between 100 and 1000m below the surface – must therefore constitute 95 per cent of the world’s fish biomass.

“Because the stock is much larger it means this layer must play a more significant role in the functioning of the and affecting the flow of carbon and oxygen in the ocean,” he says.

Prof Duarte led a seven-month circumnavigation of the globe in the Spanish research vessel Hesperides, with a team of scientists collecting echo-soundings of mesopelagic fish.

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