Zooplankton and fish play a major role in the regeneration of nutrients and determine the amount and composition of vertical carbon flux in the water column. Recycled nutrients in the upper water column can support phytoplankton and bacterial growth and production. Sinking fecal matter of zooplankton and fish can support organisms living below the euphotic zone, including benthic animals such as shellfish. We conduct research to determine the rate at which zooplankton and fish release nutrients and particulate matter, and how diet and environmental conditions may affect these processes.

o Visit the Fish Carbon Working Group webpage to see how we are working toward better understanding the role fish play in the ocean’s carbon cycle: https://www.us-ocb.org/wg-fish-carbon