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Free Content Collections of Midwater Organisms in the Cariaco Trench, Venezuela

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In January 1968, biological collections were made using a 6-foot Isaacs-Kidd Midwater Trawl with closing gear at one station over the Cariaco Trench and at another north of the trench in the open Caribbean. Each collection contained four samples taken at discrete depths. In the three collections made at Station 4 over the trench, the two during the day had much smaller catches than the one at night. In all three, catches were smaller in comparison to the single collection made at Station 3 to the north of the Trench. The bottom waters of the Cariaco Trench are anoxic. The one sample from the anoxic waters contained only two fishes and no invertebrates. Several lanternfish were taken above the anoxic layer, as well as numerous specimens of a deep-sea cod, Steindachneria argentea; a codlet, Bregmaceros atlanticus; and, among the invertebrates, a caridean, Parapandalus willisi; and a euphausiid, Euphausia gibboides.

These findings agree with the suggestion that many mesopelagic fishes, such as laternfish, and some invertebrates are being carried over the sill and into the trench at night by currents. Once over the trench, the fishes migrate down at sunrise into the anoxic waters, where they perish.

A list of fishes taken at Sands Station 4 in the Cariaco Trench and at the adjacent Sands Station 3 is presented.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 1972

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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