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1st census shows life in planet ocean is richer, more connected, more altered than expected

o delineates the vast areas of ocean that have never been explored.

"We prevailed over early doubts that a Census was possible, as well as daunting extremes of nature," says Australian Ian Poiner, chair of the Census Steering Committee. "The Age of Discovery continues."

"This cooperative international 21st century voyage has systematically defined for the first time both the known and the vast unknown, unexplored ocean."

According to Dr. Poiner, the beauty, wonder, and importance of marine life are hard to overstate.

"All surface life depends on life inside and beneath the oceans. Sea life provides half of our oxygen and a lot of our food and regulates climate. We are all citizens of the sea. And while much remains unknown, including at least 750,000 undiscovered species and their roles, we are better acquainted now with our fellow travelers and their vast habitat on this globe."

Released today:

First Census of Marine Life 2010: Highlights of a Decade of Discovery (CoML, 64 pages), edited by Jesse H. Ausubel, Darlene Trew Crist and Paul E. Waggoner.

Click here for the highlights summary:

The highlights summary draws from the three books officially launched today:

  • Discoveries of the Census of Marine Life: Making Ocean Life Count(Cambridge University Press, 304 pages), by Paul V.R. Snelgrove, an overview of Census insights and their implications (;

  • Life in the World's Oceans: Diversity, Distribution, and Abundance(Blackwell Publishing Ltd., 384 pages), Alasdair D. McIntyre (editor), a summary of findings and discoveries by the 17 Census projects (; and

  • Citizens of the Sea: Wondrous Creatures from the Census of Ma

Contact: Terry Collins
Census of Marine Life

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