census of marine life
Step right up to the Carnival of the Blue #42, where you may or may or may not discover the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. Come one, come all!
This month’s Carnival of the Blue is brought to you from the ever-so-coastal country of Chile, where I am currently working out of our Santiago office helping with their website redesign. It’s also a fitting theme because this month was a superb one for Chile’s oceans.
On the heels of our recent victory to save Chile’s Punta de Choros from a coal-fired power plant, this month, Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera announced the creation of Sala y Gómez Marine Park, a no-take marine reserve of 150,000 square kilometers around Sala y Gómez island, and the Chilean government announced a drastic reduction in the fishing quota for jack mackerel and other fisheries, starting in 2011. (Oh yeah, and don’t forget those 33 miners...)
Now let’s have a look at what else happened this month around the world wide wet web of ours:
The Census of Marine Life, a comprehensive attempt to list every marine species, has released its latest findings from the depths of the seas. The group of scientists has now listed 17,650 species, with nearly 6,000 of those living in the deepest parts of the ocean.
We know less about the ocean floor than we do about the surface of the moon, so the CoML's project is very exciting. The decade-long project wraps up more than 200 expeditions in 2010 with what will be the world's first ocean census. This work is crucial because, like Oceana's Ranger expeditions, it illuminates unknown parts of the ocean and helps arm us with reasons to protect it.
"There is both a great lack of information about the 'abyss' and substantial misinformation," said Robert S. Carney, one of the project leaders, in a statement on the latest findings. "Many species live there. However, the abyss has long been viewed as a desert. Worse, it was viewed as a wasteland where few to no environmental impacts could be of any concern. 'Mine it, drill it, dispose into it, or fish it – what could possibly be impacted?' And, if there is an impact, the abyss is vast and best yet, hidden from sight."
Be sure to check out the latest photos from CoML. It's pretty cool stuff.