The Science

SEAMOUNTS IN THE MIDNIGHT ZONE - the peak of biodiversity

The research objectives have been co-defined with the Governments of Seychelles and the Maldives to focus on a series of unexplored seamounts.

Biodiversity peaks in the Midnight Zone – most often around seamounts – between depths of 1000 to 3000 metres. Seamounts are often home to species found nowhere else on the planet. Providing protective nurseries for juvenile fish, they are highly productive fishing grounds.

Their complex ecosystems are critical to understanding the impact of the climate crisis, heat absorption, acidification, the ocean carbon cycle along with plastic, agricultural and industrial pollution. With less than 300 of 100,000 known major seamounts to have been researched to date, one of the most important parts of our planet, still remains one of the least known and least protected.

The Midnight Zone describes ocean depths between 1000metres and 4000metres. Seamounts are undersea mountains formed by volcanic activity.