Aurelie Spadone, a sea specialist with the International Union for Conservation of Nature, was among the researchers setting out Monday from Cape Town for the 45-day research cruise. She says so little is known about the deepest sea creatures that "it would be very surprising if we don't come back with a new species."
This is the last of two voyages by IUCN, the Global Environment Facility and Britain's Natural Environment Research Council, into the Indian Ocean. After the first in 2009, scientists announced they had found a new species of squid.
Spadone says researchers on this trip will focus on learning more about how deep sea fishing is affecting marine life.