Sea fish Pacific Ocean

Deepwater travellers: A)

Republished from the pages of National Geographic magazine

With a mile and a half (two and a half kilometers) of Pacific Ocean sitting on their shoulders, ghost-pale crabs and fish forage among blood-red tube worms. Such communities flourish where super-heated water gushes from seafloor springs. Advances in the tools that scientists use to investigate deep-sea ecosystems are expanding knowledge of these creatures and their hostile environment.

Strange Life Clearly Seen

Water heated as high as 760°F (404°C) by magma from Earth's interior billows from a seafloor chimney. The surrounding ocean is just a few degrees above freezing. When the two fluids meet, iron sulfide precipitates, giving the "black smoker" its color. In these dark depths, chemosynthesis—based on thermal and chemical energy from the vents—is the primary mechanism sustaining life.

A living cloud flecks the water around a clump of limpet-encrusted tube worms and mustard-yellow mussels in the high-definition image at far right. With a magnifying lens on another camera the cloud resolves into a crowd of flea like crustaceans called amphipods. Amphipod swarms like this one—observed at 9° N on the East Pacific Rise—may be the densest concentrations of invertebrate life on Earth.

High-intensity lighting and high-resolution imaging technologies provide researchers with the equivalent of a microscope to examine life in the deep sea. These tools can reveal organisms that have always been part of vent communities but have been hidden until now.

Timothy Shank, a marine ecologist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, calls the array of previously unknown species found at vents "mind-boggling." He has calculated that, on average, a new species has been described every week and a half since biologists first visited the Galápagos Rift vents in 1979. "More than 20 years later, " he says, "we're still on the tip of the iceberg. We're trying to understand relationships among vent animals—and we're still discovering new species!"


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Fish Stocks/ Windpower/ Wave Generators

2006-11-14 00:23:43 by jaybug39

I have read that ocean fish stocks will be gone in a few years. And I have been thinking since I heard that Massachusetts refused to build wind turbines in Long Island Sound as they were unattractive, why not build some in the pacific where we could create national sea life refuges?
This would help out coastal communities in several regards. Some people would come see the turbines, much like some people visit lighthouses. The energy produced would ease any difficulties coastal communities may face from their currently existing long distance power transmissions. And they would get the benefit of knowing that fish will be around in the future


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