Open Ocean Deep Sea

Jeroen Ingels, Malcolm R. Clark, Michael Vecchione, Jose Angel A. Perez, Lisa A. Levin, Imants G. Priede, Tracey Sutton, Ashley A. Rowden, Craig R. Smith, Moriaki Yasuhara, Andrew K. Sweetman, Thomas Soltwedel, Ricardo Santos, Bhavani E. Narayanaswamy, Henry A. Ruhl, Katsunori Fujikura, Linda Amaral Zettler, Daniel O. B. Jones, Andrew R. Gates, Paul SnelgrovePatricio Bernal, Saskia Van Gaever

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The deep sea comprises the seafloor, water column and biota therein below a
specified depth contour. There are differences in views among experts and agencies regarding the appropriate depth to delineate the “deep sea”. This chapter uses a 200 metre depth contour as a starting point, so that the “deep sea” represents 63 per cent of the Earth’s surface area and about 98.5 per cent of Earth’s habitat volume (96.5 per cent of which is pelagic). However, much of the information presented in this chapter focuses on biodiversity of waters substantially deeper than 200 m. Many of the other regional divisions of Chapter 36 include treatments of shelf and slope biodiversity in continental
shelf and slope areas deeper than 200m. Moreover Chapters 42 and 45 on cold
water corals and vents and seeps, respectively, and 51 on canyons, seamounts and other specialized morphological habitat types address aspects of areas in greater detail. The estimates of global biodiversity of the deep sea in this chapter do include all biodiversity in waters and the seafloor below 200 m. However, in the other sections of this chapter redundancy with the other regional chapters is avoided, so that biodiversity of shelf, slope, reef, vents, and specialized habitats is assessed in the respective regional or thematic chapters.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFirst Global Marine Assessment
Place of PublicationBrussels
PublisherOceans and Law of the Sea, United Nations
Number of pages37
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016


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