Ocean Twilight Zone and Overfishing


By Luke

The Twilight Zone is almost entirely unknown to mankind, with one in five fish found in there to be a new species. Though it is very close to the mesophotic zone, it still has an abundance of undiscovered fish. Some of these fish are known as the “Angel Shark,” “Brittle Star,” and the “Copepod.” Scientists have found a new way to bring fish from the twilight zone to the surface, spread awareness about overfishing, and found many new species of fish. The Twilight zone, and the ocean In general is essential to the stability of the earth’s ecosystems

With the recent exploration of the twilight zone scientist have found a way to bring new species of fish out of the twilight zone without killing them. There is also a profound problem of overfishing in the ocean, which can damage the oceans ecosystem, as well as the depths. Scientists have recently created “a safer way to bring its fishy residents to the surface without killing them.” The method of bringing the fish up is possible with a decompression chamber that the fish are put into, and then brung out of the zone. Studying new species of fish should not be as much of a priority as preventing the overfishing of the Ocean.

James Cameron, a prominent director who has  spent thousands of hours in the ocean, believes that overfishing can  permanently affect the state of our world, due to it damaging the ecosystem. As Cameron puts it, “Almost every other major fishery on the planet started in this way, building on the assumption that the ocean’s resources were limitless. That is almost always a mistake”. If the ecosystem is disrupted, marine snow (phytoplankton) will mostly die out, which will warm up the planet. As overfishing is a massive problem, one of the main sources of oxygen in the ocean,  phytoplankton, or marine snow may cease to exist, along with the massive migrations done by many fish. Cameron understands the fragile ecosystem, and many factors towards keeping the Ocean’s ecosystem stable.

There are hundreds of undiscovered fish that exist in the twilight zone, as one in five fish found there are new species. Many of the fish “seem to be closely related to reef fish,” according to the scientists of the Smithsonian Deep Reef Observation Project. This could be because many fish migrate to this area to escape predators. The depths of the ocean have many undiscovered species that have unique characteristics, and are very overfished. The loss of many fish can cause oxygen production in the ocean to decrease, which is terrible, since the ocean is one of the main sources of oxygen. Overfishing is also disastrous for biodiversity, for it causes fish that migrate to this area of the ocean to be killed, which could possibly lead to the extinction of other species.

Researchers have created a decompression chamber, directors have spread awareness about people exploiting the ocean, and scientists are finding new species. Scientists studying these new species could possibly make breakthroughs in medicine and science. Without marine snow, and the stable ecosystem of the ocean, the world’s weather would never be the same, with more extreme heat & other disasters. Not only the Twilight Zone, but the ocean in general is a critical part of our ecosystem, even if a majority of it is still unexplored.