Historic Images Document Drastic Depletion of Marine Life

A Good Catch, 1958

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COML good catch photo
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In 1958, a man took his family fishing off of Key West and captured the moment of glory in a souvenir photo. Half a century later, this photo is one of many records reviewed by scientists trying to piece together a picture of how life in the seas is changing.

The Census of Marine Life, a 10-year project to precisely and comprehensively document life in the global oceans, has registered countless successes -- including discovery of 5000 new species. But a good picture of the current state of the oceans is not enough. Scientists are developing new ways to "take the blinders off" and see into the past, to assess the changes the ocean is undergoing.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Monroe Library, CoML

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