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The fish that currently holds the depth record is a species of cuskeel (family Ophidiidae) called Abyssobrotula galatheae. This 20 cm long fish has been collected from the Puerto Rico Trench at a depth of 8,370 m (27,455 feet).

<i>Abyssobrotula galatheae</i>

Preserved specimen of Abyssobrotula galatheae. Specimen resides at the Californian Academy of Sciences.

Image: Californian Academy of Sciences

The cuskeel below is Barathrites sp. It was collected at a "mere" 3,300 m. The fish is registered in the Australian Museum Ichthyology Collection (AMS I.28746-002).

A cuskeel, Barathrites sp
A cuskeel, Barathrites sp collected in April 1989 by staff of the Australian Museum Fish Section working on board the H.M.A.S Cook. It was caught in a midwater trawl at a depth of 3300 m (bottom depth 3490 m to 4840 m) in the Tasman Sea off Sydney, New South Wales. Image: Australian Museum
© Australian Museum

Dr Shillito of the Universite Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France, recently used a new device called an abyss box to capture and bring live to the surface a deepsea zoarcid fish, Pachycara saldanhai. The fish was caught, and filmed, at a depth of 2,300 m on the hot vents of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

More deep fish links

Further reading

  1. Neilsen, J.G in Paxton, J.R. & W.N. Eschmeyer (Eds). 1994. Encyclopedia of Fishes. Sydney: New South Wales University Press; San Diego: Academic Press [1995]. Pp. 240.