Census of Marine Life

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Census of Marine Life,

an international program (2001–2010) to assess and explain the diversity, distribution, and abundance of living organisms in the oceans. A project involving more than 2,700 scientists and some 80 nations, the census was directed by an international scientific steering committee, subcommittees, and national and regional committees. In addition to coordinating field surveys, which discovered more than 6,000 possibly new species, the census produced the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) to manage the database that resulted; OBIS is now maintained by UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission. Historical research was also undertaken to provide an understanding of the past diversity and distribution of marine species. The secretariat for the project was at the Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education, Washington, D.C.


See A. D. McIntyre, Life in the World's Oceans (2010), P. V. R. Snelgrove, Discoveries of the Census of Marine Life (2010).

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Keep up with the latest news from the Census of Marine Life: http://www.sciencenewsforkids.org/articles/20100203/Note2.asp
"We think that there are probably about 250,000 known species in the oceans, but we think that there are probably about a million or more in total, and that doesn't include the microbes," said Dr Paul Snelgrove, leader of the Census of Marine Life.
The three main parts of the book reflect the three framing questions of the Census of Marine Life: (1) What lived in the oceans?
The "roll call" was published in the run-up to the long-awaited final report from the Census of Marine Life in October.
For every two species found in deep sea, one is bound to be new to science", pointed out Dr Mohideen Wafar, chairman of the Indian Ocean Census of Marine Life project based in Goa.
Robert Carney, an oceanographer at Louisiana State University, who co-leads the study of the ocean depths as part of the wider international Census of Marine Life (COML) said, "The diversity of life in the deep sea is much, much greater than we believed.
The Census of Marine Life, a major international project surveying the oceans, recorded 5,722 species living at depths greater than 0.62 miles where the sun never shines.
A conference that opens in Vancouver tomorrow will present a Census of Marine Life, which has reconstructed from old ship logs, tax accounts, legal documents and even mounted trophies the vast populations of fish and marine mammals that once populated the oceans of the world.
The finds, at Lizard and Heron islands on the Great Barrier Reef, and Ningaloo Reef in north-western Australia, surprised researchers taking part in the global Census of Marine Life (CoML).
He said the authority was now talking to CenSeam (Global Census of Marine Life on Seamounts) to conduct a similar study of the genetic make-up of seamounts, submerged mountains that teem with life, but are also home to mineral resources.
A former member of the Census of Marine Life Seamounts scientific committee, Koslow has long been a voice for global stewardship of the high seas, and has been instrumental in drawing attention to the need for conservation of seamounts and deepwater corals.
Scientists working for the Census of Marine Life searched through sales records, fishery yearbooks and other sources to trace the demise of the Atlantic bluefin in northern Europe.
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