Marine Biodiversity is the theme for this year’s International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB).
Counting Life in the Sea
Between 2000 and 2010, scientists worldwide took part in a groundbreaking collaborative venture known as the “Census of Marine Life”, to quantify marine biodiversity.
More than 2500 scientists from 80 nations participated in activities ranging from surface seawater studies to deepwater probes, from the arctic waters to the tropics. Around 1200 species were added to the known roster of sea life, and more species are still being investigated.
The estimate of the total number of known marine species has now reached about a quarter of a million. However, in its final report the Census team suggested the actual number could in fact exceed a million, so there’s still a lot of discovery awaiting anyone venturing into the field of marine biology!