University of Rhode Island Scientists Coordinating First Ever Ocean Census

school of fish photo

Photo via suneko via Flickr CC

They say there's plenty of fish in the sea. But how many is "plenty"? The fact is, we don't know how many fish are in the ocean, or how much marine life is living in the waters. The University of Rhode Island is attempting to take a census of the ocean's fish. Taking a lead in coordinating a global effort, scientists are working to identify and quantify all marine life on the planet. Looking at abundance, diversity, and distribution - in other words, how many, of what, and where - the scientists will record the numbers of fish in the world's oceans. Technological advancements are allowing researchers to see life in the water that was impossible before - from animals living in the deepest parts of the ocean, to tens of thousands of bacteria living in 1 ml of water.

By looking at old ships' logs, restaurant menu changes, and what is reported by the fishing industry, along with all of the research from various science labs, the researchers at University of Rhode Island are hoping that their census will go far in helping us understand how overfishing and climate change are altering the numbers of fish, their diversity, and their impact in the oceans' ecosystems.

Listen to the full interview here.
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