The Trapping Zone
Just recently the depths of the Maldives were explored for the very first time! What they found was pretty cool! An area/ecosystem first of its kind. They are referring to it as “the trapping zone”, creating as oasis of life at around 500 meters depth.
Scientists from all over came to take part in The Nekton Maldives mission, including the Maldives marine research institute. This mission was to look at what is going on in the deeper parts of the Maldives. Video footage, sonar mapping, and biological samples were all taken using the Omega Seamaster II (A little bubble looking submarine).
Micronekton are small animals, usually between 2 and 20 cm. This making them slightly larger than zooplankton, which is mainly what they feed on. It is a major food source for many different larger fish. Micronekton take part in vertical migration, the largest animal migration, and it happens every single day. In the evening plankton migrates from depths of 200 -1000 meters to the top of the water column to feed, and with the sun rising will dive back down depths of up to 1000 meters.
‘The Trapping Zone’
Observations show a large amount of micronekton is being trapped at 500 meters. Due to the underwater land formations of submerged volcanic ridges and ancient fossilised reefs the micronekton is unable to go any deeper. This unique discovery is ‘The Trapping Zone’.
This area becoming extremely dense with micronekton, creating an all you can eat buffet for many larger fish found in the Maldives. The cameras caught many sharks in the area including tiger, silky, gill, scalloped hammerhead, and the rare bramble shark. Along with larger fish such a tuna.
The information gathered from this mission is extremely useful in learning about different species and their relationship with the oceans in the Maldives. This will in turn help with creating more marine protected areas hopefully leading to an increase in fish life. Not only is more fish better for the ocean but as a result will increase food security along with supporting the Maldivian economy.
The Nektons mission also uncovered ancient beach lines and coral reefs. However, ‘The Trapping Zone’ is with out a doubt the biggest find on this mission. This discovery has opened doors too many new possibilities and poses many more questions.
Keep an eye out for scientific reports and findings from the Nektons mission.