UXBRIDGE, Canada, Nov 11 (IPS) – A thousand points of light are being shone into the dark ocean depths as scientists from 82 countries work to complete the decade-long global research effort called the Census of Marine Life.
“It’s been a remarkable time of exciting new discoveries and frightening revelations of how quickly the oceans are changing,” said Canadian deep-sea biologist Paul Snelgrove, a leader of a team integrating findings from all 17 census projects.
“We were startled to discover small crustaceans never seen by scientists before completely blanketing the seafloor at 500 metres in the Gulf of Mexico,” Snelgrove told IPS.
And during the eight years the census has run so far, scientists have documented that more than 90 percent of the oceans’ top predators — large sharks, tunas, swordfish, cod and others — are now gone and those remaining are in serious trouble. “We’re also seeing evidence of climate change with the shifting distribution of species,” he said. Continue reading