Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Deep sea fish remove one million tons of carbon dioxide every year from UK and Irish waters

Date:
June 3, 2014
Source:
University of Southampton
Summary:
Deep sea fishes remove and store more than one million tons of CO2 from UK and Irish surface waters every year, according to a new study. This natural carbon capture and storage scheme could store carbon equivalent to 10 million per year in carbon credits Fish living in deep waters on the continental slope around the UK play an important role carrying carbon from the surface to the seafloor.

This is a deep sea lizard fish (Bathysaurus ferox) from 2000m depth on the continental slope off the west coast of Scotland.
Credit: Dr. Clive Trueman

Deep sea fishes remove and store more than one million tonnes of CO2 from UK and Irish surface waters every year, according to a new study led by the University of Southampton.

This natural carbon capture and storage scheme could store carbon equivalent to 10 million per year in carbon credits.

Fish living in deep waters on the continental slope around the UK play an important role carrying carbon from the surface to the seafloor.

It is assumed that deep water fishes all depend on particles that fall from the surface for their energy. These bottom-living deep water fishes never come to the surface and the carbon in their bodies stays at the seafloor. However, at mid-slope depths there is an abundant and diverse ecosystem where a huge volume of animals make daily vertical migrations to feed at the surface during the night. The animals conducting this migration then transport nutrients from the surface back to the deep.

Researchers from the University of Southampton and Marine Institute, Ireland used novel biochemical tracers to piece together the diets of deep-water fish revealing their role in transferring carbon to the ocean depths.

They found that more than half of all the fishes living on the seafloor get their energy from animals that otherwise go back to the surface, and not from settling particles. These bottom-living fishes therefore become a carbon capture and storage facility. Global peaks in abundance and biomass of animals at mid slope depths occur because this is the depth range where the vertically migrating animals are most easily captured by fishes that live at or near the seafloor.

Lead author, Dr Clive Trueman from the University of Southampton, says: "As fishing, energy extraction and mining extend into deeper waters, these unfamiliar and seldom seen fishes in fact provide a valuable service to all of us. Recognising and valuing these ecosystem services is important when we make decisions about how to exploit deep water habitats for food, energy or mineral resources."

As it is difficult to study animals living under a kilometre or more of water, the researchers measured forms, or isotopes, of carbon and nitrogen, in the muscles of fish caught in deep-water research surveys on the continental slope west of Ireland, at water depths ranging from 500 to 1800m. These were collected on the RV Celtic Explorer, a multi-disciplinary research vessel operated by the Irish Marine Institute.

Small differences in the mass of these isotopes mean that they are processed at slightly different speeds in the body, leading to patterns which can show who eats who in the slope ecosystem. By measuring the isotopes in all of the most common species, the researchers were able to estimate how much carbon is captured and stored by these deep water fish.

The study, which is published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, was funded by the University of Southampton and the Marine Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southampton. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Southampton. "Deep sea fish remove one million tons of carbon dioxide every year from UK and Irish waters." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140603193911.htm>.
University of Southampton. (2014, June 3). Deep sea fish remove one million tons of carbon dioxide every year from UK and Irish waters. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140603193911.htm
University of Southampton. "Deep sea fish remove one million tons of carbon dioxide every year from UK and Irish waters." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140603193911.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 24, 2014) Smoothies are a great way to get in lots of healthy ingredients, plus they taste great! Howdini has a trick for making the perfect single-size smoothie that will save you time on cleanup too! All you need is a blender and a mason jar. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A new study claims a set of prehistoric T-Rex footprints supports the theory that the giant predators hunted in packs instead of alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins