Coral reef split level on the Philippines

Shallow seas

Shallow seas cover the continental shelves. These sunlit, or neritic, waters are where the oceans are most productive, where biomass is highest and where all the major sea fisheries of the world take their catches. The shallow seas include warm tropical waters, temperate seas like those round the UK and the chilly waters of the Arctic and Southern Oceans.

Watch video clips from past programmes (23 clips)

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View all 23 video clips

What grows here?

What lives here?




Cartilaginous fish

Ray-finned fishes

Lobe-finned fishes



Crabs, shrimp and krill


Snails and slugs



Where you find Shallow seas

Map showing the location of the Shallow seas habitat


Useful behaviours for this habitat


Ecozones where this habitat is found


Other Marine habitats

BBC News about Shallow seas

Video collections

Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.

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