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Deepest-Ever Fish Caught, Filmed Off Japan by Scientists


An Australian-Japanese scientific expedition caught fish more than 8 kilometers below the ocean surface for the first time — and filmed them even deeper.

Professor Alan Jamieson, the expedition’s chief scientist, said in April 2023 that traps caught two snailfish 8,022 meters underwater in the Japan Trench in the North Pacific Ocean during a two-month voyage by a team from the University of Western Australia (UWA) and the Tokyo University of Marine Science.

The snailfish, of the Pseudoliparis belyaevi species, are the first to be caught below 8,000 meters, the expedition said. The species has been recorded as reaching lengths of nearly 11 centimeters.

Remote cameras lowered from the research vessel DSSV Pressure Drop by the joint expedition, part of a 10-year study into the deepest fish population on the planet, also recorded an unknown snailfish species swimming at a depth of 8,336 meters in the Izu-Ogasawara Trench off southern Japan.

“The Japanese trenches were incredible places to explore; they are so rich in life, even all the way at the bottom,” said Jamieson, founder of the Minderoo-UWA Deep-Sea Research Centre. “We tell people from the very early ages, as young as 2 or 3, that the deep sea is a horrible scary place that you shouldn’t go and that grows with you with time.

“We don’t appreciate the fact that it [the deep sea] is fundamentally most of planet Earth, and resources should be put into understanding … how we are affecting it and how it works.”

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