Deep-sea Discoveries of South Java
Despite a stormy start thanks to Cyclone Marcus, scientists who participated in the South Java Deep Sea Biodiversity Expedition 2018 (SJADES 2018) collected more than
12,000 creatures during their 14-day voyage to survey the unexplored deep seas off the southern coast of West Java, Indonesia. SJADES 2018 is the first concerted deepsea biological exploration conducted by Singapore and Indonesia, aimed at studying deep-sea marine life in the largely unexplored part of the waters off the southern coast of West Java.
The expedition team, consisting 31 researchers and support staff, was led by Professor Peter Ng, Head of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum of the National University of Singapore (NUS), and Professor Dwi Listyo Rahayu, Senior Research Scientist at the Research Center for Oceanography (RCO) of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI). The NUS research team comprises scientists from the Lee Kong Chian Natural History
Museum and the Tropical Marine Science Institute.
Some 800 species of sponges, jellyfish, molluscs, starfish, urchins, worms, crabs, prawns and fish were found during the expedition. Out of these findings, the team discovered over a dozen new species of hermit crabs, prawns, lobsters and crabs, and over 40 species of various kinds are new records for Indonesia.
Using trawls, dredges, box corers and multicorers, the team collected samples across 63 stations, at depths averaging 800 metres, with the deepest depth sampled at 2,100 metres. The samples collected will be studied by scientists from both countries. This is anticipated to take up to two years, and the results will be shared and discussed with the world at a special workshop that will be held in Indonesia in 2020. The outputs will then be collated and published in the museum’s science-citation journal, The
Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. “The discoveries have been overwhelming and exciting! We have found many things we never imagined were living down there – and they are
all Indonesian animals!”
- Professor Rahayu, Indonesian Expedition Leader
ABOVE: A new species of Glyphocrangon, a bottom-dwelling shrimp that can lock its abdomen to protect against predators