Census of Marine Life 2000-2010

Outcomes - an archive of the Census of Marine Life Achievements.


First Census Shows Life in Planet Ocean is Richer, More Connected, More Impacted than Expected
After a 10-year exploration, 2,700 scientists from 80 nations reported on the first Census of Marine Life, revealing what, where, and how much lives and hides in the oceans. Key outcomes were
  • establishing a baseline to measure future changes
  • discovery of new species, mapping of marine highways and rest stops
  • marine biodiversity database OBIS which allows anyone to map the addresses of species online
  • documenting of diminished abundance, as a result of historic impacts

The report on First Census of Marine Life 2010 Highlights of a Decade of Discovery is in English with report summary also in Italian, Korean, Chinese, German, French, Japanese, Arabic, Spanish, Russian and Portuguese. Partnerships among the Census of Marine Life, the Encyclopaedia of Life and the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) have now gone far towards documenting all 250,000 known marine species; a task that will continue into 2011 and beyond. Expert judgement of Census scientists examining knowledge by region and taxa affirms that at least 1 million species of marine life likely exist, and thus at least three species remain to be discovered for each already known. No firm basis exists for an estimate for the upper bound.

Making Ocean Life Count

What are they? How many are there? How many were there? How many will there be?
The Census of Marine Life was a global network of researchers in more than 80 nations engaged in a 10-year scientific initiative to assess and explain the diversity, distribution, and abundance of life in the oceans. The world's first comprehensive Census of Marine Life - past, present, and future was released in London, UK in October 2010. The emphasis of the program was on field studies, which were carried out in poorly known habitats like the deep-sea (CeDAMar) as well as those assumed to be well-known eg coral reefs (CReefs). Through field studies and other projects, ranging from analyzing historical documents (HMAP) to modeling future ecosystems (FMAP), the Census enabled scientists to compare what once lived in the oceans to current populations, as well as to project what will inhabit the oceans of the future. To learn more about CoML field projects, click this link