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What Does Pelagic Mean?

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The term pelagic is an adjective which means of, living in or pertaining to open oceans or seas as opposed to waters that are adjacent to land or to inland waters. It is often used as a synonym for the term oceanic. It is also sometimes used as a noun.

The word pelagic has its roots in the Latin term pelagicus; from the Greek term pelagikos; coming from the word pelagos, meaning sea.

A related term is a pelagic zone which is that portion of the open sea or ocean which is made up of the water column, excepting that which is close to either the coast or sea floor. The Epipelagic, Mesopelagic, Bathypelagic, Abyssopelagic and Hadopelagic are the five sub-sections of this zone.

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