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Media & Other Important Stuff

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Oct 2021

Take a Deep Dive into a Wondrous Coral Refuge

Vibrant, thriving coral reefs. Waters teeming with sea life. A stable and sustainable source of fishing for local communities. With oceanic ecosystems around the globe suffering from the effects of climate change, one has to ask: Is this a fantasy?

Believe it or not, this incredible refuge really exists. Take a deep dive into a newly discovered East African coral refuge, where many threatened species of sharks, rays, and dolphins thrive. Explore photos, maps, and videos of this unique ocean landscape, meet the people who depend on it, and discover how we can protect it.


Oct, 2021

Media expert highlights the importance of sharing deep-ocean stewardship success stories


Oct, 2021

Contrary to most terrestrial organisms, which release their carbon into the atmosphere after death, carcasses of large marine fish sink and sequester carbon in the deep ocean. Yet, fisheries have extracted a massive amount of this “blue carbon,” contributing to additional atmospheric CO2 emissions. Here, Mariani et al. (2021) used historical catches and fuel consumption to show that ocean fisheries have released a minimum of 0.73 billion metric tons of CO2 (GtCO2) in the atmosphere since 1950. Globally, 43.5% of the blue carbon extracted by fisheries in the high seas comes from areas that would be economically unprofitable without subsidies. Limiting blue carbon extraction by fisheries, particularly on unprofitable areas, would reduce CO2 emissions by burning less fuel and reactivating a natural carbon pump through the rebuilding of fish stocks and the increase of carcasses deadfall.

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Jellyfish in Aquarium

Oct, 2021

A close look at a larvacean house, seen during the 1,200-meter (3,937-foot) water column transect. Image courtesy of NOAA Ocean Exploration, 2021 North Atlantic Stepping Stones: New England and Corner Rise Seamounts. 

Hi Evagoras,
Welcome to your weekly Deep-Sea Round-Up

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Please note: DOSI does not necessarily endorse the views presented in any webinar or documents distributed herein


Interview with Jon Copley

Dr Jon Copley joined the DOSI Advisory Board in 2021. He is Associate Professor in Ocean Exploration and Public Engagement within Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre at the University of Southampton. As a science communicator and deep-sea expert - his research includes ecology, biogeography and evolution - Jon is often called on by documentary-makers to share the exploration of the deep ocean with people worldwide, for example as a science advisor and onscreen contributor for BBC Blue Planet II. Jon was kind enough to answer a few questions in this exclusive DOSI interview.

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Are you going to COP26?

Please let us know if you will be attending the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in the coming weeks so that we can try to help connect the deep-sea community on site.

Let us know >>


Let more big fish sink: Fisheries prevent blue carbon sequestration—half in unprofitable areas

Contrary to most terrestrial organisms, which release their carbon into the atmosphere after death, carcasses of large marine fish sink and sequester carbon in the deep ocean. Yet, fisheries have extracted a massive amount of this “blue carbon,” contributing to additional atmospheric CO2 emissions. Here, Mariani et al. (2021) used historical catches and fuel consumption to show that ocean fisheries have released a minimum of 0.73 billion metric tons of CO2 (GtCO2) in the atmosphere since 1950. Globally, 43.5% of the blue carbon extracted by fisheries in the high seas comes from areas that would be economically unprofitable without subsidies. Limiting blue carbon extraction by fisheries, particularly on unprofitable areas, would reduce CO2 emissions by burning less fuel and reactivating a natural carbon pump through the rebuilding of fish stocks and the increase of carcasses deadfall.

Read now >>

In the media

Opinion: Transformational opportunities for an equitable ocean commons

Frontiers are uncertain territory, characterized by high risks and high rewards. In the case of ABNJ, the financial and human capacity needed to participate are substantial and has encouraged a single-minded focus on production, leading to “blind spots” in the ocean economy that are perpetuating inequities, and are incompatible with international development agendas. Pivoting the current narrative of ABNJ away from this status quo will require a new operational logic. Here, Claudet, Amon & Blasiak propose four transformational opportunities to reshape our relationship with the ocean and foster equity for people and nature, and they suggest two avenues for public and private sector actors to lead the way.

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Potential impacts of polymetallic nodule removal on deep-sea meiofauna

Deep seabed mining is potentially imminent in the Clarion Clipperton Fracture Zone (CCFZ). Seabed collectors will remove polymetallic nodules and the surrounding surface sediments, both inhabited by meiofauna, along their path. To determine potential impacts of polymetallic nodule removal, Pape et al. (2021) investigated the importance of nodule presence for the abundance, composition and diversity of sediment meiofauna, and evaluated the existence and composition of nodule crevice meiofauna in the Global Sea Mineral Resources (GSR) exploration contract area. They formulated environmental management recommendations at the contract area and regional (CCFZ) scale related to sampling effort, set-aside preservation and monitoring areas, and potential rehabilitation measures.

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Selective world-building: Collaboration and regional specificities in the marine biodiversity field

Marine biodiversity research spans a broad range of spatial and temporal scales, scientific disciplines, and infrastructures for assessing patterns of change in marine biodiversity with different topics and regions contributing to the abstract construction of the field. Yet, beneath the surface of these abstract constructions and attributions such as “big science” to assess the international, interdisciplinary and data-driven nature marine biodiversity research, patterns of scientific collaboration emerge that shape the contributions of different world regions to the field. Furthermore, legal, political and territorial orders shape scientific collaboration by determining access to the marine environment and the study thereof. To understand these dynamics, this study by Tolochko & Vadrot (2021) analyses scientific publications on marine biodiversity using topic modeling methodology.

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The dynamic influence of methane seepage on macrofauna inhabiting authigenic carbonates

Methane seeps are highly productive deep-sea ecosystems reliant on chemosynthetic primary production. They are increasingly affected by direct human activities that threaten key ecosystem services. Methane seepage often generates precipitation of authigenic carbonate rocks, which host diverse microbes, and a dynamic invertebrate community. By providing hard substrate, even after seepage ceases, these rocks may promote a long-lasting ecological interaction between seep and background communities. Pereira et al. (2021) analyzed community composition, density, and trophic structure of invertebrates on authigenic carbonates at Mound 12, a seep on the Pacific margin of Costa Rica, using one mensurative and two manipulative experiments. They asked whether carbonate macrofaunal communities are able to survive, adapt, and recover from changes in environmental factors (i.e., seepage activity, chemosynthetic production, and food availability), and they hypothesized a key role for seepage activity in defining these communities and responses.

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Hermaphroditism in fish: incidence, distribution and associations with abiotic environmental factors

The distribution of hermaphroditism in fishes has traditionally been mainly explained by its dependence on biotic factors. However, correlates with major abiotic factors have not been investigated on a quantitative basis and at a global scale. Here, Pla et al. (2021) determined the incidence of hermaphroditism in fish at the family and species level, tested the hypothesis that evolutionary relationships account for the poor presence of hermaphroditism in freshwater species, and tested the association of sexual systems with latitude, habitat type and depth. This study can be the basis for further research in specific groups for different purposes, including ecological and evolutionary issues as well as conservation and management of exploited species. Understanding the environmental correlates can help to forecast changes in the distribution or phenology of hermaphrodites in a global change scenario.

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Productivity and dissolved oxygen controls on the Southern Ocean deep-sea benthos during the Antarctic Cold Reversal

The Antarctic Cold Reversal (ACR; 14.7 to 13 thousand years ago; ka) phase of the last deglaciation saw a pause in the rise of atmospheric CO2 and Antarctic temperature, that contrasted with warming in the North. A re-expansion of sea ice and a northward shift in the position of the westerly winds in the Southern Ocean are well-documented, but the response of deep-sea biota and the primary drivers of habitat viability remain unclear. Here Stewart et al. (2021) present a new perspective on ecological changes in the deglacial Southern Ocean, including multi-faunal benthic assemblage (foraminifera and cold-water corals) and coral geochemical data (Ba/Ca and δ11B) from the Drake Passage. 

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20th century cooling of the deep ocean contributed to delayed acceleration of Earth’s energy imbalance

The historical evolution of Earth’s energy imbalance can be quantified by changes in the global ocean heat content. However, historical reconstructions of ocean heat content often neglect a large volume of the deep ocean, due to sparse observations of ocean temperatures below 2000 m. Here, Bagnell & DeVries (2021) provide a global reconstruction of historical changes in full-depth ocean heat content based on interpolated subsurface temperature data using an autoregressive artificial neural network, providing estimates of total ocean warming for the period 1946-2019.

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In the media

The first two complete mitogenomes of the order Apodida from deep-sea chemoautotrophic environments: New insights into the gene rearrangement, origin and evolution of the deep-sea sea cucumbers

The deep-sea ecosystem is considered as the largest and most remote biome of the world. It is meaningful and important to elucidate the life origins by exploring the origin and adaptive genetic mechanisms of the large deep-sea organisms. Sea cucumbers (Holothuroidea) are abundant and economically important group of echinoderms, living from the shallow-waters to deep-sea. In this study, we present the mitochondrial genomes of the sea cucumber Chiridota heheva and Chiridota sp. collected from the deep-sea cold seep and hydrothermal vent, respectively. This is the first reported mitochondrial genomes from the order Apodida.

Read now >>

In the media

Squid photobombs OceanX ROV

In October 2020, while exploring a shipwreck in the Red Sea at approximately 900m depth, a huge squid, larger than a human, glided into view to the delight of the OceanX ROV team and scientists. With the help of squid expert, Mike Vecchione, the squid has tentatively been identified as a giant form of purpleback flying squid. See a summary PDF of the mission here.

In the media

Deep-Seabed Mining


In the media


Image source: NOAA OER

Other papers & publications

Popular articles


Turning the tide of parachute science
Tuesday 21 October 3pm UTC

Parachute science is the practice whereby international scientists, typically from higher-income countries, conduct field studies in another country, typically of lower income, and then complete the research in their home country without any further effective communication and engagement with others from that nation. It creates dependency on external expertise, does not address local research needs, and hinders local research efforts. As global hotspots of marine biodiversity, lower-income nations in the tropics have for too long been the subject of inequitable and unfair research practices. However, to date there has been little quantifiable evidence of this phenomenon in marine science. In this webinar, Paris Stefanoudis (University of Oxford) and Sheena Talma (Nekton Foundation) will present evidence from systematic literature searches and queries that parachute science practices are still widespread in marine research and make recommendations to help change the current status quo.

Register now >>

Genetic Data
28 October 5pm CEST

Evidence based on molecular methods is becoming increasingly common as a source of data for the biodiversity community. To get the full benefit from this work, it is important that these datasets are comparable and accessible across projects. Now it is possible to store and access occurrences from genetic data through OBIS and other biodiversity databases like GBIF and ALA. OBIS has incorporated the DNA derived data extension, a community standard for the storage of occurrences derived from genetic data. To learn more about the Darwin Core extension, the metadata needed to store genetic data, and how this data can be accessed, join OBIS for a virtual webinar on Genetic data and OBIS.

Register now >>


Request for Proposals
Deadline Thursday 21 October

A final reminder that we are seeking proposals from Instagram-savvy, deep-ocean stewards to join a small team running DOSI's Instagram account (@DeepStewardship). The successful individual(s) will work as part of a 3-4 strong team, sharing ideas together, but rotating posting duties on a weekly basis (for example, posting one week per month). This is a great opportunity for an early career ocean professional or student who is seeking science communications experience in a global network. Please email us your proposal (no more than 1 page A4) outlining how you would contribute to and evolve DOSI's efforts on Instagram, while retaining DOSI's core values. Please note that this is an unpaid position.

Contact us >>

Implementation of environmental DNA analyses in marine observatories
Deadline 31 October

The HIFMB/AWI seek for a Postdoc (m/f/d) in the framework of the third-party funded project 'CREATE - Concepts for Reducing the Effects of Anthropogenic pressures and uses on marine Ecosystems and on Biodiversity' and addresses the research mission of the The German Marine Research Alliance on 'Protection and Sustainable Use of Marine Areas'. With the advertised position, marine observatories will be extended by molecular genetic detection and identification methods for marine fauna in the BMBF-funded project 'CREATE'. The focus is on the standardization of environmental DNA sampling and the establishment and management of an environmental DNA bioarchive.

Find out more >>

Innovating for the Ocean
Deadline 31 October

Pure Ocean is an endowment fund created in 2017 in France. It supports innovative applied research projects around the world that aim to protect fragile marine ecosystems and biodiversity. Through the Innovating for the Ocean Call for Projects, Pure Ocean seeks to fund the following priority themes:

  • Monitoring changes in:

    • Ocean life (productivity, biodiversity, distribution or ranges of any species).

    • Ocean characteristics (temperature, acidity, currents, chemical cycles).

  • Achieving sustainability of any marine resource exploitation (algae, energy or pharmaceuticals).

  • Restoring and/or increasing the resilience of vulnerable marine ecosystems and biodiversity at any scale, with any technique/ methodology.

Projects are expected to be interdisciplinary/transdisciplinary, collaborative and demonstrate work with a variety of stakeholders (eg research institutes, government agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the private sector, grassroots movements and local communities). Funding of up to €80,000 is available for up to two years. Support for some projects may be renewed for an additional year.

Find out more >>

2021-22 JOINT CALL
Supporting the protection of biodiversity and ecosystems across land and sea
Pre-proposals deadline 30 November

Biodiversa+, the European Biodiversity Partnership, is pleased to announce that its 2021-2022 joint Call for Transnational Research Proposals on “Supporting biodiversity and ecosystem protection across land and sea” is now open. This call aims to support transnational research projects (3-years duration) addressing one or more of the three (non-exclusive) themes below:

  • THEME 1 – Knowledge for identifying priority conservation areas, establishing effective and resilient ecological networks, enhancing species-based protection and preserving genetic diversity

  • THEME 2 – Multiple benefits and costs of biodiversity and ecosystem protection: synergies and trade-offs

  • THEME 3 – Effective management and equitable governance to deliver bold conservation outcome

Find out more >>


Membership in the Ocean Decade Data Coordination Platform
Deadline 29 October

This call for nominations is restricted to institutions and their representatives that have an interest in participating as a member of the Ocean Decade Data Coordination Group. A future call for nominations will be issued for membership in the Technical Implementation Coordination Group. Representatives of international or regional entities with strategic planning and implementation responsibility for the generation or management of ocean data and information systems and services, as well as representatives of user communities of data and information products and services, are particularly encouraged to apply.

Find out more >>

International Ocean Data Conference 2022
Deadline 29 October

The International Ocean Data Conference 2022 – The Data We Need for the Ocean We Want - will be held in Sopot, Poland, between 14-16 February 2022 as a hybrid event. Organized by the IOC’s International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE), the Conference will have three main objectives: (i) to consider regional and global strategies and policy needed to achieve the digital ecosystem; (ii) to discuss existing and required technological developments and their implementation; and (iii) to identify future directions in ocean data and information management. A wide range of topics are welcomed to be presented - details below.

Find out more >>

Mechanisms underlying the extraordinary biodiversity and conservation in global hotspots
Deadline 30 November

This special issue calls for original and novel papers on identifying the key factors driving diversity of biodiversity hotspots, how historical events influence the speciation and adaptations, and “innovative evolution event” in different taxa. This call is not specifically for marine hotspots but the deep sea could offer an important contribution to this special issue?

Find out more >>


(Extract from

Professor Paul Mealor, composer of Song of the Ocean, which was performed virtually by an international choir drawn from DOSI experts for World Ocean Day 2021, has taken a step into deep water to set music to amazing new footage by the film-makers behind the natural history series Blue Planet. Paul has created a soundtrack to Wonders of the Celtic Deep, which will air on the 12th October.

Read full article >>

Image from

Whittard Canyon internal tides visualisation

Check out this cool visualisation of internal tides in the Whittard Canyon (on the edge of the Continental European shelf) and how they influence the distribution of fauna, including cold-water corals. Made by Tabitha Pearman and Sam Jones.



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Header image courtesy of NOAA OER

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Climate change is probably increasing the intensity of tropical cyclones

Oct 18, 2021

There is growing evidence that intensity of cyclones, hurricanes and typhoons will increase in the next century due to global warming. In a paper published in March this year, scientists analysed 90 peer reviewed articles to understand the impact of a changing climate on tropical cyclones.They concluded that there could be a five per cent increase in maximum cyclonic wind speeds if the world warmed by 2 degrees Celsius by 2100. Wind speeds of a cyclone can peak at more than 300 kilometres per hour. Rising sea water levels will likely intensify the destructive impact of the cyclonic storms due to increased storm surges which inundate coastal areas during an ongoing storm, bringing in sea-water that decreases soil fertility and corrodes buildings. Also, the amount of rainfall carried by the storms might also increase by an average of 14% due to the warming-fuelled increase in moisture in the atmosphere which can cause more intense floods. There are other impacts of warming on tropical cyclones such as rapid intensification which could make them unpredictable and difficult to monitor. Rapid intensification happens when there is an increase of maximum sustained winds of a cyclone by at least 55 kilometres per hour within 24 hours.

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