How Australian fishermen struggled to find the deepest fish ever caught after hooking it 8km below the surface
- A juvenile snailfish was caught 8 km below the surface
- WA scientists caught it in September 2022
- Snailfish is said to be the deepest catch of all
Western Australian scientists have helped hunt down what is being described as the deepest fish ever caught during an expedition to the ocean depths.
The University of Western Australia said the baby snail was one of two fish collected from a trap just over 8,000 meters deep in the Japan Trench.
The discovery was made during a two-month expedition by the research vessel DSSV Pressure Drop that began in September last year.
Scientists from the Mindiro-Owa Deep Sea Research Center and the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology discovered the Japan, Izu-Ogasawara and Ryukyu trenches in the Pacific Ocean as part of a study of deep-sea fish populations.
Western Australian scientists helped catch a juvenile snail (pictured) from a trap just over 8,000 meters deep in the Japan Trench
The snailfish that the researchers filmed with baited cameras at a depth of 8,336 meters in the Izu Ogasawara Trench is believed to be the deepest fish ever recorded on film.
The abundance of life in the ocean depths was remarkable, said Alan Jamieson, a professor at the University of Western Australia.
Japanese trenches were great places to explore. ‘They are very rich in life, even at the bottom,’ said Professor Jamieson.
We have spent over 15 years researching these deep snail fish; There is much more to it than just depth, but the maximum depth they can survive is truly astonishing.
“In other trenches like the Mariana Trench, we find them at increasingly deeper depths just creeping up over the 8,000-meter mark in fewer and fewer numbers, but they are already present all over Japan.”
Before the expedition, Professor Jamieson said, “Nobody has ever seen or collected a single fish from this entire trench.”
The single snailfish, purportedly the deepest fish ever found, was a “very small” juvenile that tended to live at the deepest end of its range.
The snailfish, which the researchers filmed with baited cameras at a depth of 8,336 meters in the Izu Ogasawara Trench, is believed to be the deepest fish ever recorded on film.