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Census of Marine Life. A decade-long program (2000-2010) to assess and explain marine life’s diversity, distribution & abundance - past, present & future The Known, the Unknown, the Unknowable. The Census of Marine Life: Making ocean life count.

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census of marine life

Census of Marine Life

A decade-long program (2000-2010)

to assess and explain marine life’s

diversity, distribution & abundance

- past, present & future

The Known, the Unknown, the Unknowable

The Census of Marine Life: Making ocean life count

global collaboration
Global Collaboration

Stars indicate National or Regional Activity Headquarters

Arabian Sea

(Oman, 2007)

80 countries

Over 2000 scientists

coml components grand challenge questions
CoML ComponentsGrand Challenge Questions

Oceans Past

What did live in the oceans?

History of Marine Animal Populations (HMAP)

Oceans Present

What does live in the oceans?

Ocean Realm Field Projects

Oceans Future

What will live in the oceans?

Future of Marine Animal Populations (FMAP)

Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS)

Web-based provider of global geo-referenced information on marine species


Salem Beverly Ship Logs

150 Year Old Cod Fishery

Rosenberg, Bolster, Alexander,

Leavenworth, Cooper,

McKenzie et al. 2005


Catch Per Unit Effort

50% decline


Scotian Shelf

Now <1%


Big Fish Diversity

50 top hotspots

for large fish

Worm et al., Science 2005


Shannon Biodiversity

13M OBIS Records

13.2 million records of 81000 species from 210 databases

ocean realm projects
Ocean Realm Projects

Human Edges

  • NaGISA - Natural Geography In Shore Areas
  • CReefs - Coral ReefEcosystems
  • GOMA - Gulf of Maine Area Census (Regional Ecosystem)
  • POST - Pacific Ocean Shelf Tracking

Central Waters

  • TOPP - Tagging of Pacific Pelagics (Top Predators)
  • CMarZ - Census of Marine Zooplankton
  • MAR-ECO - Mid-Atlantic Ridge Ecosystems

Hidden Boundaries

  • CoMargE- Continental Margins Ecosystems
  • CeDAMar - Census of Diversity of Abyssal Marine Life
  • CenSeam - Census of Seamounts
  • ChEss - Chemosynthetic Ecosystems (Vents)

Ice Oceans

  • ArcOD - Arctic Ocean Diversity
  • CAML- Census of Antarctic Marine Life

Microscopic Ocean

  • ICOMM - International Census of Marine Microbes

Consortium for the Barcode of Life (CBOL)

A Sloan Foundation ‘sister project’

- Works on land species, works at sea

Global Paracalanus copepods




Seamounts, Vents

454 DNA sequencing - 100 times expected diversity in ‘Rare Biosphere’


Animal Oceanography

Biuw et al. PNAS 2007

Depth (m)

Change in drift rate (cm·s-1·d-1)


Global Ocean Tracking Network

$160M IOC-GOOS Pilot Project


1st Wave

2nd Wave

3rd Wave


Published: 2007/08/05 16:49:29 GMT

www.coml.org www.oceantrack.org