The Fishes In the Deep Blue Sea

they-glowOceans cover more than 71% percent of our planet – and those oceans contain 97% of all the water on Earth. More than half of that water is deeper than 1 km (that’s only about ½ mile down.) Scuba divers and explorers have never explored most of the water this deep because it would kill them. There are several reasons why deep water is so dangerous for humans: 1) It’s cold – really cold, 2) There’s no air – without air, you’d pass out in about 5 minutes; 3) The water pressure gets stronger the deeper you go – the water pressure would squish you and collapse your lungs; and 4) This one is a little more confusing, but basically all the pressure on the body causes something called “nitrogen narcosis” and it would cause you to suffocate.

barreleye2-350For all those reasons, we don’t really know much about the fish and other creatures that live in our deep oceans. We know that they don’t get much light from the sun, that they can handle lots of pressure, and that they can survive in very cold temperatures. Most of these fish also don’t have skeletons, their skin is jelly-like, they grow very slowly and live longer, they don’t reproduce as quickly as fish closer to the surface, and there are not as many of them. All these things make them very different from the fish we normally see and find in seafood restaurants.

So, why does this matter? It matters because the Earth’s population is growing every day and today more than 1 billion people depend on fish as their main source of protein. With so many people eating fish, fishermen began running out of fish that that they could catch close to land and near the surface. Naturally, they moved further out to sea, but those fish populations started to get low too. Eventually the fishermen had to try new ideas and began fishing in deeper waters. Fish like mackerel, which live close to the surface can reproduce 50% of their population in a year, but these deep see fish can only reproduce 6% of their population in that same time. Through research, we can learn more about these fish and how to fish them at a rate that keeps them from being overfished and disappearing.

fish lightHave you ever heard of aquaculture? It is the farming of fish and other underwater plants and animals. It’s a lot like agriculture, which is the farming of plants and animals for food and other products on land. Aquaculture is one important way in which we can make sure that there are enough fish for people to eat and that the fish in our oceans aren’t overfished and have time to reproduce. In the last couple of years, aquaculture has become a big business. In fact, 50% of the world’s supply of seafood today already comes from fish farms across the planet. Aquaculture is one way in which scientists and fishermen are working together to figure out how to keep our oceans healthy and our population fed.

Watch MinuteEarth’s wonderful video on this

YouTube video

New Non-Profit Marine Education and Collaboration Organization to Promote the Positives in Ocean Research, Conservation and Education

New Non-Profit Marine Education and Collaboration Organization to Promote the Positives in Ocean Research, Conservation and Education


Contact Information:
Jennifer Pitzer, Managing Director
Marine & Oceanic Sustainability Foundation
15121 Concord Pike, Suite 301
Wilmington, DE 19803




Wilmington, Delaware, January 16, 2013—A new non-profit organization focusing on the successes of marine education and collaboration has just launched under the name Marine & Oceanic Sustainability Foundation. Jennifer Pitzer, former freelance writer and senior financial analyst at the Federal Reserve Board, will serve as Managing Director.

The Marine & Oceanic Sustainability Foundation (MOSF), when fully staffed by the end of 2014, will include approximately 6 fulltime researchers, writers, and editors, devoted solely to creating content-rich materials about successful marine conservation efforts and how those projects can be implemented in other parts of the world. By the end of 2014, the organization will acquire the first of a number of research vessels, which will enable them to provide education outreach services and host research scientists, educators and graduate students. The MOSF will be supported entirely by philanthropy and will provide the articles and materials it produces, free of charge, both through its own website and to other conservation organizations to maximizing the impact of each article.

“While I am not naïve to the very real issues that are affecting our planet,” states Ms. Pitzer, “I also know that for all the negative stories, there are as just as many successful projects that go unnoticed. Through research and collaboration, we can document how people are successfully making a difference in their local marine environments and share that information with a global audience. Equally important, by working with educators and young people, we can teach future generations how incredible our oceans and their inhabitants are and how much they impact our lives. It is our goal to provide tools for communities to engage in marine ecology as part of the solution. We share the planet, it is in all of our interest to seek sustainable solutions and make it a better place. Marine conversation is my passion.”

The MOSF’s Board of Directors is currently in formation. In addition to Ms. Pitzer, it will include Tiffany Moisan, Research Physical Scientist in the Hydrological Sciences Lab at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and doctoral graduate of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Rosemarie Watkins, retired, she formerly served as the director of the international policy group at the American Farm Bureau Federation in Washington, D.C.; David Pitzer, Vice President and CIO of Frederick Mutual Insurance and advanced scuba diver. The MOSF will also have an Advisory Board of leaders with experience in marine conservation and related fields.

More information on the Marine & Oceanic Sustainability Foundation can be found at


See the actual press release online.