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About the Census of Marine Life

The Census of Marine Life is 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-will be released in 2010.



Census Organization


The Census of Marine Life is coordinated by a Secretariat based at The Consortium for Ocean Leadership in Washington, D.C. and governed by an international Scientific Steering Committee. Eleven national and regional implementation committees work under the guidance of the international Scientific Steering Committee and serve to strengthen the global reach of the Census in support of marine biodiversity research.

Seventeen projects conduct the research and analysis on six ocean realms that will be reported in the first Census of Marine Life in October 2010. The Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research Working Group monitors new technologies for observing marine life and recommends when cutting-edge marine technologies are mature enough to be used routinely in Census field projects.

Support for the Census of Marine Life comes from government agencies concerned with science, environment, and fisheries in a growing list of nations as well as from private foundations and companies. The Census is associated or affiliated with several intergovernmental international organizations including the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the UN, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, the UN Environment Programme and its World Conservation Monitoring Centre, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas, and the North Pacific Marine Science Organization. It is also affiliated with international nongovernmental organizations including the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research and the International Association of Biological Oceanography of the International Council for Science..

E-mail questions about the Census of Marine Life to . E-mail comments about the web site to the .



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