The Deep Blue Around You

18 Jun
Written by Khyesha Brooks

Climate change is affecting the world around us. Many fish are being threatened by warmer water. QUE the Rariphotic Zone. The deep waters of the Rariphotic Zone are cooler due to being 130-309 meters below the surface.

Researchers found new species of fish in the deep areas surrounding the coral reefs in the Caribbean. Quite a few of these fish are usually suspected to be seen towards the surface around the coral reefs. These fish are not known to be found at the depth of the Rariphotic Zone, there must be a reason.

Just below the reef’s ecosystem is the Mesophotic Zone. This zone is the maximum depth that the reef coral can survive. This zone for some reason has been dismissed or frankly ignored.


“95% of the livable space on the planet is in the ocean,” said Dr. Carole Baldwin. “Yet only and fraction of it had been explored!” Dr. Baldwin seems shocked that we have not explored more. “It’s understandable for areas that are thousands of miles offshore and miles deep,” she continued, “but these tropical reefs are just below popular, highly studied, shallow reefs – essentially in our backyards.”
She hopes by naming the deep reef Rariphotic Zone that it will draw attention to the need to continue exploration in the area.

Carole Baldwin, marine biologist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History with Substation Curaçao owner Adriaan ‘Dutch’ Schrier in Curasub submersible (Barry Baldwin)

Dr. Baldwin and her team conducted multiple submersible dives to the Rariphotic Zone where they have observed $4,500 individual fish. But something they found that was unusual was that the fish in this area were colorful like the ones you normally find around the shallower coral reef.

They suspect that the are moving downward as the shallower water starts to warm due to climate change and the reefs start to disintegrate. Scientist suggest further studying of the Mesophotic and Rariphotic Zones to better understand the future of coral reefs and all that inhabit them.