Fish Night 6: Wonders of the deep blue


IIED's Fish Night 6 event focused on the deep sea and the impacts of human activities on this fragile environment.

A deep sea octopus.

The Dumbo Octopod lives deep in the Gulf of Mexico. Octopods can live in ocean depths ranging from 100 to over 5,000 metres (Photo: NOAA Ocean Exploration and Research, via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

IIED’s Fish Night 6 event dived into a mysterious marine habitat – the deep ocean – to explore what the latest research is uncovering about the delicate ecosystems more than 2,000m under sea level, and the impacts that human actions are having on these unique environments. 

The event, Fish Night 6: Wonders of the deep blue took place on World Fisheries Day on 21 November 2019.

The guest speaker was Dr Diva Amon, Marie Skłodowska-Curie research fellow at the Natural History Museum in London.

Dr Amon, a deep-sea biologist and ocean explorer, took participants us on a journey through the deep ocean, to meet the mesmerising and wonderful animals that live in these environments and understand the impact of human actions and activities on these valuable ecosystems.

She shared her insights and experiences from research expeditions to deep-ocean habitats from Antarctica to the Mariana Trench, exploring ocean floors as deep as 2.6 kilometres below the ocean surface and discovering creatures that exist nowhere else.

Much of her research seeks to understand the impacts of deep-sea mining, oil and gas extraction, litter and climate change, and how we can mitigate them. Her contribution will look at these issues.

Amon has spoken at the United Nations, and the 2018 Nobel Week Dialogue. She has filmed with the BBC and CNN, among others. In 2018 she won the International Seabed Authority Secretary General's Award for Excellence in Deep Sea Research. She is co-founder of the non-profit NGO Speseas, which is dedicated to increasing marine science, education and advocacy in Trinidad and Tobago.

Following the discussion there was a question-and-answer session moderated by IIED’s head of blue economy, Essam Yassin Mohammed, who recently attended the negotiations for an international legally binding treaty to protect the high seas in New York.

Previous Fish Night events

IIED's Fish Night events bring together people from academia, government, conservation and the media to discuss issues around sustainable fisheries and oceans.

Previous Fish Nights have focused on sustainable fisheries and subsidies designed to benefit marine and coastal ecosystems, the impact on biodiversity of the governance of the high seas, and the launch of the online platform FishNet

Fish Night events aim to:

  • Demystify complex theories and scientific findings: by making the findings accessible to policymakers and consumers, they can promote informed decision-making and fisheries literacy
  • Create space to share hard-earned lessons, and
  • Inspire change to create fisheries that work today and into the future.