10-day deep-sea exploration in the Indian Ocean comes to an end

The first phase of the multilateral deep-sea scientific expedition to explore the biodiversity of the twilight zone of the Indian Ocean ended on Friday.

India was represented in the 10-day expedition by marine scientists from the Center for Marine Living Resources and Ecology of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, based in Kochi. Researchers explored deep-sea biodiversity aboard a UK-based research vessel, the Odyssey.

The twilight zone is considered the most productive zone of the ocean in the depth range of 200 meters to 800 meters. However, it was a less explored area in terms of biodiversity, the researchers said.

During the expedition, environmental DNA analysis and deep-sea submersibles were tested and demonstrated in the northern Indian Ocean using an underwater camera, the underwater vehicle to baited distance. The Indian delegation was composed of researchers N. Saravanane, Sherine Cubelio and Sendhil Kumar.

Apart from Indian scientists, researchers from the UK, Maldives and Sri Lanka took part in the underwater expedition which took place at an ocean depth of 1,000 meters. The expedition was of scientific relevance given the Deep Ocean Mission launched by the ministry, the researchers said.

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