Ocean life census


  • Randy Showstack


The Census of Marine Life, an international effort to assess the diversity, distribution, and abundance of marine life, issued a report on 23 September summarizing the decade-long project that the organization calls “the most comprehensive inventory of known marine life ever compiled.” The census has involved more than 2700 scientists and 670 participating institutions from more than 80 nations and territories. In addition, three books were released on 23 September that provide an overview of census insights and their implications, a summary of findings and discoveries by the 17 census projects, and portraits of about 100 species.

The Census of Marine Life is the book of oceans' nature,” census cofounder Jesse Ausubel wrote in a forward to one of the books. Ausubel is vice president of programs for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, which contributed $75 million to the $650 million census. “This book reports the known, unknown, and unknowable of the first Census of Marine Life. This book is about the richness of 3.5 billion years.” For more information, visit http://www.coml.org.