The oceans contain the origins of biodiversity on Earth, with 75% of the major taxa (kinds) being exclusively or primarily marine. The physical and chemical properties of our oceans make them excellent hosts for an abundance and diversity of marine life. We must understand the biological and ecological factors controlling the marine environment before we can successfully develop global strategies for sustainable use. As ocean policy-makers satisfy the socioeconomic aspirations of expanding human populations, they must also ensure the long-term viability of marine species, resources and habitats. Partnerships among the Census of Marine Life, the Encyclopaedia of Life and the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) have gone far towards documenting all 230,000 known marine species in time for the first Census of Marine Life - past, present and future completed in October 2010. The report on First Census of Marine Life 2010 Highlights of a Decade of Discovery is in English with a summary also in Italian, Korean, Chinese, German, French, Japanese, Arabic, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese.


In the ocean, a certain interdependency exists between its living things. Ocean inhabitants enjoy a deep and intricate relationship between each other, as well as with their marine environment. To explore the relationship between Biology and Ecology in more depth, please visit the Ecology section of the UN Atlas!

Related Resources