Deep Sea Biodiversity

Midwater Animal Collage

At the December 2022 United Nations Biodiversity Conference scientists reported the threats to biodiversity around the world. The deep sea is one region where scientists called for more research into understanding biodiversity before it’s lost.

The deep sea is the largest habitat on earth and, despite being species-rich, it is the least explored. Scientists estimate that about 90% of species in the oceans have yet to be discovered. Like everywhere, life at ocean depths is threatened by human activities. Plastic pollution has even reached deep sea food webs. Mining in the deep sea will impact life in the deep. Worse, it is potentially devastating.

Deep-sea researchers emphasized that its rich biodiversity plays a key role in ecosystem services, such as supplying food and regulating global climate by absorbing heat and storing carbon from the atmosphere. Increasing knowledge of species and ecosystem functions in the deep sea will prompt the protection of biodiversity and marine conservation worldwide.