The pearlside (Maurolicus muelleri) is a common fish on the Chatham Rise. Vulnerable to predators, they hide in the dark mesopelagic zone during daylight, then with many other organisms they move several hundred metres up to the euphotic layer, where food is more abundant. Echo sounder surveys from the research vessel Tangaroa discovered this phenomenon in the late 1990s. The sounders picked up a ‘false sea floor’, which was actually the echo from the swim bladders of the numerous pearlsides, moving towards the surface at night.
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Artwork by David Batson
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