What lives in the world's seas?

by Rich Heffern

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Representing the most comprehensive and authoritative answer yet to one of humanity’s most ancient questions -- “what lives in the sea?” -- the Census of Marine Life was released on Oct. 4. It's an inventory of species distribution and diversity in key global ocean areas.

Scientists combined information collected over centuries with data obtained during the decade-long Census to create a roll call of species in 25 biologically representative regions -- from the Antarctic through temperate and tropical seas to the Arctic.

Culminating a 10-year exploration, 2,700 scientists from 80 nations report the first Census of Marine Life, revealing what, where, and how much lives and hides in global oceans. The Census measures changes caused by climate or oil spills, and establishes a baseline; diminished abundance is documented;
An online Census directory allows anyone to map global addresses of species.

A 64-page report that describes some of the scientific highlights of ten years of exploration, research and analysis undertaken by Census of Marine Life scientists. Included is a description of the Census organizational structure.

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