The Ocean Exploration Trust has announced a new partnership with the Nippon Foundation-Nekton “Ocean Census,” a program dedicated to marine species discovery.
OET joins an existing network of Ocean Census Alliance partners working together to accelerate the discovery of ocean life, catalyze its protection and build human capacity, which creates an inclusive legacy within the marine science field.
Ocean Census Director Oliver Steeds says:
“We are thrilled Ocean Exploration Trust is taking an important role in the global effort to discover and protect ocean life. Only through joining forces with organizations like OET can the Ocean Census alliance operate at the scale and speed the ocean needs.”
Ocean Census is a project between the Nippon Foundation and Nekton along with a consortium of collaborating partners that aims to accelerate the discovery of ocean life, providing open access data for the common good and associated knowledge exchange, science-to-policy initiatives, and communications activities.
The Nippon Foundation and Nekton launched Ocean Census in April with the aim of revolutionizing understanding of marine life. Scientists maintain that little more than 10 percent of the species that live in the ocean have actually been discovered, despite it being home to an estimated 2.2 million species. The rate of discovery has remained relatively unchanged since the 1800s, with approximately only 2,000 new ocean species described per year.
However, recent technological advances in high-resolution imaging, DNA sequencing and machine learning mean that scientists can now considerably accelerate the process. OET and Ocean Census will collaborate broadly on species discovery efforts, including protocols for cyber-taxonomy, developing new technology for studying ocean life, and executing expeditions for future discovery.
According to Ocean Exploration Trust COO Allison Fundis:
“Nautilus explores areas of the deep sea that have rarely, if ever, been seen by human eyes. Our partnership with Ocean Census will help accelerate the discovery and identification of new species in these areas whilst ensuring local communities are appropriately involved in the entire process.”
For more info, go to nautilus live.org.
We're announing our new partnership with The Nippon Foundation-Nekton @oceancensus, the largest program in history dedicated to #marine #speciesdiscovery, to accelerate the discovery of #oceanlife, catalyze its protection, and build human capacity. More: https://t.co/URhADURFE0
— E/V Nautilus (@EVNautilus) August 16, 2023