News

Antarctic Krill—the Unsung Heroes of Climate Mitigation in the Southern Ocean

By Ken Kostel | December 4, 2019

Antarctic krill—and more importantly, krill poop—are an important part of the global climate system. Unlike many species that migrate miles across the surface, krill migrate vertically, depositing their carbon-filled waste deep below the surface. This helps mitigate climate change, but they’re under threat from capture for use as fishmeal to feed aquaculture operations or oils…

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Bristlemouth dominance: How do we know?

By abrickley | November 26, 2019

By towing sampling nets over specific depth ranges, scientists are able to estimate the total amount of living things (biomass) and the number of different living things (biodiversity) in that region of the ocean. Recent press has crowned the bristlemouth fish the king of vertebrates, with estimates in the trillions or even quadrillions.  But how…

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Jellies of the Twilight Zone

By Ken Kostel | November 20, 2019
jellyfish

Jellyfish have lived on earth more than 600 million years, and boast a diverse evolutionary history. Most jellyfish species live in what is known as the ocean’s “Twilight Zone.” Little is known about this ocean region since it is vastly underexplored, but WHOI is on a mission to change that. With our new AUV Mesobot,…

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WHOI and 4Ocean Search the Twilight Zone

By Ken Kostel | November 12, 2019

Jellyfish play a vital role in a healthy ocean. But we need more insight into exactly what that role is–and how jellyfish fit into the changes taking place in the ocean every day. Learn more about Jellies of the Twilight Zone. That’s why we partnered with 4Ocean to release this Jellyfish Bracelet. The purchase of each bracelet funds…

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Tagging Along into the Twilight Zone

By abrickley | November 8, 2019
porbeagle shark fin with SPOT tag

Before the rest of the Ocean Twilight Zone team heads out next week on the Neil Armstrong, there was tagging to be done of other potential food chain investigators— the kind that are blue-grey (not yellow), that swim autonomously (no batteries or propellers), with sharp teeth and a good sense for where the food may…

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Following the Elusive Swordfish

By Ken Kostel | November 7, 2019

Swordfish may be among the most universally recognized apex predators in the open ocean, but given that they spend half of their lives in deeper waters and aren’t easily observed and knowing where and when they travel has been a long-standing mystery. That is, until recently, when researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and…

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WHOI returns to the United Nations

By Aria Ritz Finkelstein | September 3, 2019

by Aria Ritz Finkelstein, WHOI Marine Policy Center Guest Student This week, Greta Thunberg has captivated the world by sailing from the UK to New York City for next week’s UN Climate Action Summit. Her goal has been to raise awareness of climate change and the environmental costs of international travel, but her voyage has…

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Summer of the Ocean Twilight Zone

By Sally Dowd | August 26, 2019

Growing up near the coast of North Carolina, I gained immense respect for the marine animals I was able to observe—the ones residing in surface waters. Over time, this interest led me to gain experience with sharks and coral reef ecology. After focusing on marine biology and ecology research, this summer was the first time…

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Mesobot: Following Life in the Twilight Zone

By Ken Kostel | August 21, 2019

Mesobot is a brand new underwater vehicle designed to reveal what lives in the ocean’s twilight zone. Mesobot can follow animals as they move through the darkness and as they migrate from the depths to the surface and back. The twilight zone is vast and remote, but is threatened by unregulated fishing and climate change.…

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The Lawless High Seas May Soon Gain Protections Under a Groundbreaking Ocean Treaty

By Ken Kostel | August 20, 2019

“Historically, the high seas have been open to a wide array of uses,” said Porter Hoagland, a senior research specialist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. “There’s a notion of the freedom of the high seas, and with modern technology—including the ability to get out and use the ocean in those areas, as well as…

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In the News

2018-08-04
It’s ‘the last frontier on Earth that’s truly not well understood,’ and scientists are about to explore it
The Boston Globe

2018-06-19
Why Great White Sharks Hang Out in Warm Whirlpools
National Geographic News

2018-04-22
Into the Darkness
Cape Cod Times

2018-04-16
Scientists Get Major Gift to Study the Twilight Zone
WCAI NPR

2018-04-13
With $35M grant, WHOI scientists will dive to the edge of ocean's light
Cape Cod Times

2018-04-12
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution gets $35m to explore deep reaches
Boston Globe

2018-04-12
Deep-sea project wins prestigious funding at Vancouver TED conference
The Globe & Mail

2018-02-26
The ocean’s ‘twighlight zone’ faces fishing threat
News Deeply

2018-02-16
Study finds high levels of microplastics in mesopelagic fish
R&D

2017-08-21
The deep seas are alive with light
New York Times

2017-08-18
What happens in the sea during a solar eclipse?
Deep Sea News

2017-05-03
In disposable mucus houses, these zooplankton filter the oceans
New York Times

2017-01-16
The race to fish the larder living in the ‘twilight zone’
BBC

2016-08-15
Unraveling the mystery of the ocean’s twilight zone
Wired

2016-09-26
Mysterious ocean blobs aren’t so mysterious
The Atlantic

2016-03-08
Fishing the deep. Is it time to start fishing the deep sea? Some scientists are urging caution.
Hakai magazine

2015-06-29
Dark region of ocean may shed light on climate change and other issues
New York Times

2015-06-29
An ocean mystery in the trillions
New York Times

2014-02-09
Fish in the ocean cast new light on ocean ecosystems
The Conversation