Deep Sea Fish

Bathymetric Map of British Isles

Bathymetric Map of the British Isles showing the location of the Rockall Trough and the Faroe-Shetland Channel.

All of the fish featured on this page are very deep sea fish, meaning they live at depths of at least 1000 metres, and are found all the way down to depths of over 3000 metres. Most of the species profiled below are only found in two locations around the British Isles: the Rockall Trough and the Shetland-Faroe Channel, as these are the only locations which have water deep enough to provide a suitable habitat. The Rockall Trough is located in the Rockall Basin to the west of Ireland and contains underwater plateaus, trenches, ridges and seamounts. At its deepest point the Rockall Trough is thought to be 3500 metres below the surface. The Shetland-Faroe Channel is a similar feature, found to the north of Scotland, which is greater than 3000 metres at its deepest point. Both of these locations contain diverse, deep-sea eco-systems and are home to deep sea fish species which are not found anywhere else in British or Irish waters. Due to the immense depths at which these species live none of them have shore caught or boat caught records.

Commercial Exploitation of Deep Sea Fish

Many deep sea fish are now exploited commercially. This is due to trawling technology advancing to the extent that previously unreachable fish species can now be caught, and the fact that more common (and much easier to catch) species such as cod, haddock and plaice have been fished to such an extent that new species have had to be exploited to satisfy consumer demand. The fishing of deep water species is controversial as the eco-systems at these depths are much more fragile and easily damaged than those in shallower water, and many deep sea species are long-lived and late maturing, meaning that numbers of these species will take a very long time to recover – even if deep-water commercial fishing stops entirely. Read more about these issues on the page on commercial fishing.

Ornage Roughy ThumbnailOrange Roughy

 

Roundnose Grenadier ThumbnailRoundnose Grenadier

 

Other Deep Sea Fish ThumbnailRabbit Fish

 

Fangtooth ThumbnailCommon Fangtooth

 

Black Scabbardfish ThumbnailBlack Scabbardfish

 

TB Slender Snipe EelSlender Snipe Eel

 

TB Portugese DogfishPortuguese Dogfish

 

TN Birdbeak DogfishBirdbeak Dogfish

 

TN Velvet Belly LanternsharkVelvet Belly Lanternshark

 

Bramble Shark

 

Frilled Shark ThumbnailFrilled Shark

 

TN Shortfin Spiny EelSpiny Eel Species

 

TN Kitefin SharkKitefin Shark

 

TN Bluntnose Sixgill ProfileBluntnose Sixgill Shark

 

Additional Deep Sea Species