Deep Sea News

All You Have To Do Is Just One Thing

A trip to my local book store this morning was rewarded with an exceptional find, The Universe Below by Broad. I cannot wait to delve into this tasty treat. Broad reminds me of an often too forgotten concept, the deep sea is the largest of habitat on earth. Randomly place a point on our planet and it would be deep sea. In our daily activities so far removed from this environment, we begin to think all the earth is like our tiny, little corner. We begin to think this is all there is. Broad wonderfully places our lives and space into perspective with a simple diagram (recreated above).

By volume, land makes up only 0.5% of the earth and the shallow seas 21%. The deep is 78.5%. That thin, little red strip at 0.5% represents the part we’ve explored. Every day will yield something new as we continue to explore this remote vastness.

Unfortunately if I redrew the figure above, replacing the part we’ve explored with a wedge of the percentage of the deep sea we have affected, it would be much larger. We are beginning to have a detrimental impact on the deep, perhaps the last pristine part of planet. Mining, overfishing, dumping of our waste, chemical-laced runoff from our daily activities, impacts of climate change, are beginning to change the environment I love. Although we know little of this environment, our presence is already there. I urge you in 2008 to help us fight for the deep sea by continuing to inform yourself and becoming active.

In 2008, every week or so I will ask you to do just one thing (The Just One Thing Challenge). It will be a small request but our combined efforts will be large. Just last year by teaming up, we funded several classrooms to help educate youth about our oceans. Hopefully over time, we will add to our ranks and our impact will grow.

Today I cheat and ask you two things for the coming week. First, if you are willing to accept my challenge I ask for a bit of your time to post a note below saying so. This is important so I know people care and to let others know there is a community of us concerned. Second, I ask you to keep reading DSN and stick with the challenge through 2008.


  1. #1 bigTom
    January 26, 2008

    I suspect that “land” figure is wrong. We keep finding primative life deeper and deeper in the rocks. The volume keeps growing.

    About, even deep sea life being affected, welcome to the anthropocene. Some geologists are saying the Holocene is over, as we are now the primary driver of change on the planet.

  2. #2 kevin z
    January 26, 2008

    I’m with you craig! We should get rubber bracelets, black for deep ocean, with the words Live Deep embedded in it.

  3. #3 MikeG
    January 26, 2008

    Like we need another bit of plastic in the world, Kevin. [/tongue in cheek]

    Well, I guess I can agree to those two challenges. We’ll see how far I can go with further challenges.

  4. #4 Farne
    January 26, 2008

    Ok. I’m with you. Reading DSN is out of my field, but I’m interested, so whatever I can do, I will.
    Good Luck!!

  5. #5 Jim Lemire
    January 26, 2008

    I’m willing to accept your challenge, but do I really have to keep reading DSN?

  6. #6 Kiki
    January 27, 2008

    When do we build a raft city? It’s a better way to live in the sea without the HUGE pressure that under water cities must endure.
    Every few months we can vote on what weather we want to have and just sail to the right coordinates on the globe.

    It shouldn’t be too tough to construct. I’ve read about a water treatment / nuclear power plant that floats on the water. It might be it!

  7. #7 FishGuyDave
    January 27, 2008

    As I move more of my own fisheries research into the mesopelagic, it’s probably only a matter of time before I start in on the bathypelagics too — count me in for the DSN 2008 challenge.

  8. #8 CK
    January 27, 2008

    As long as these challenges don’t involve eating disgusting things like on Fear Factor, I’m game.

    I’m currently reading DSN from my field site in the remote South Pacific, by DIAL-UP…because I’m that kind of geek.

  9. #9 Karen James
    January 27, 2008

    I’m in! I can’t wait to find out how I’m hurting the Deep Sea …so that I can stop.

  10. #10 kevin z
    January 27, 2008

    Karen, ride the Beagle next time you come over to the state instead of flying…

  11. #11 Adrianne
    January 29, 2008

    I really apreaciate you because you really care about ocean and sea life. Oceans are important for the planet and human civilisation. Not only that provides food, but oceans are the main factor in climate change. For whom is insterested in the matter, visit

  12. #12 Merisea
    January 29, 2008

    I’ll keep it on track with the high school students I work with.

  13. #13 Keely
    January 29, 2008

    I’m in.

    Also, am I allowed to extend some of your ideas and suggestions for change at work? (Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre?)

  14. #14 CR McClain
    January 29, 2008

    Most definitely!

  15. #15 outeast
    January 30, 2008

    Wait… the planet is made of water, with the land floating on top? Methinks there’s something wrong here…

  16. #16 tonyj
    January 30, 2008

    You know what, I’m ready to make a change or two (or 52?) too. I’m already off the Tuna – what else have you got. I’m in!

  17. #17 Ashley
    January 30, 2008

    I’m in!
    Bring on the challenges :)

  18. #18 Traci
    January 30, 2008

    Add me to your list of participants — I’m in!

  19. #19 CR McClain
    January 30, 2008

    It’s by volume not by area. Area would look different but the deep-sea floor would still be the winner.

    Big Tom,
    The land figure may be wrong as you stated “We keep finding primative life deeper and deeper in the rocks”. But the there is no reason to consider that the deeper and deeper we begin to sample into the ocean floor the volume won’t grow to. For land it would have to be considerable to account change the figures above.

  20. #20 Peter Mc
    January 30, 2008

    OK. How’s less fish and chips for a start?

  21. #21 Tony D
    January 30, 2008

    I’m in!

  22. #22 Mrs Hilary Victoria Minor
    January 31, 2008

    Count me in! If I can do it, I will. :-) 😀

  23. #23 slim
    January 31, 2008

    I’m more of a shallow gulf gal, but count me in!

  24. #24 silver
    February 2, 2008

    I’m in as well. I’ll do my best to meet the challenges. & absolutely yes on the keep reading DSN.

  25. #25 Steve W
    February 4, 2008

    Count me in!

  26. #26 John Hill
    February 4, 2008

    Sounds good. Count me in

  27. #27 Miriam Goldstein
    February 6, 2008

    Count me in too!

  28. #28 rachel
    February 6, 2008

    Count me in!

  29. #29 tjewell
    February 10, 2008

    I’m in. BTW, the link to this post in #2 and 3 isn’t working.

  30. #30 Eric
    February 10, 2008

    I’m in!

  31. #31 jebyrnes
    February 12, 2008

    I’m in!

  32. #32 Ole
    February 17, 2008

    Me too!

  33. #33 Lynna Landstreet
    February 17, 2008

    A bit late signing up, but count me in.

    BTW, I already use reusable bags and buy organic where possible, so I think I’m covered for the first couple of things. :-)

  34. #34 Carrie
    February 17, 2008

    I’m late too, but I care and I want to try and make a difference!

  35. #35 Kevin Z
    February 17, 2008

    Great to have everyone on board and I just want to say its never too late! Anyone can tag along on the Just One Thing train at anytime.

  36. #36 Max
    February 18, 2008

    I’ll join too.

  37. #37 Marsh
    February 21, 2008

    I just hopped on the JOT train…trying challenge #4 this week – Buy organic when it’s an option. I love DSN; it’s one of my favorite webescapes.

  38. #38 ~summer~
    February 22, 2008

    On the bandwagon.

  39. #39 brenda
    March 17, 2008

    I’m in… I think you got me with the cage match with Oprah’s people later this year. 😉

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