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A census of fishes and everything they eat: how the Census of Marine Life advanced fisheries science
O'dor, R.; Boustany, A.M.; Chittenden, C. M.; Costello, M.J.; Moustahfid, H.; Payne, J.; Steinke, D.; Stokesbury, M.J.W.; Vanden Berghe, E. (2012). A census of fishes and everything they eat: how the Census of Marine Life advanced fisheries science. Fisheries 37(9): 398-409.
In: Fisheries: Bulletin of the American Fisheries Society. American Fisheries Society: Bethesda, Md.. ISSN 0363-2415, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Census; Distribution; Ecosystem management; Fisheries sciences; Identification; Marine environment; Species; Species diversity; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • O'dor, R.
  • Boustany, A.M.
  • Chittenden, C. M.
  • Costello, M.J., more
  • Moustahfid, H.
  • Payne, J.
  • Steinke, D.
  • Stokesbury, M.J.W.
  • Vanden Berghe, E., more

    The Census of Marine Life was a 10-year, international research effort to explore poorly known ocean habitats and conduct large-scale experimentation with new technology. The goal of Census 2010 in its mission statement was to describe what did live in the oceans, what does live in the oceans, and what will live in the ocean. Many of the findings and techniques from census research may prove valuable in making a transition, which many governments have publicly endorsed, from single-species fisheries management to more holistic ecosystem management. Census researchers sampled continental margins, mid-Atlantic ridges, ocean floor vents and seeps, and abyssal plains and polar seas and organized massive amounts of past and new information in a public online database called the Ocean Biogeographic Information System ( The census described and categorized seamount biology worldwide for its vulnerability to fishing, advanced large-scale animal tracking with acoustic arrays and satellite archival tags, and accelerated species identification, including nearshore, coral reef, and zooplankton sampling using genetic barcoding and pyrotag sequencing for microbes and helped to launch the exciting new field of marine environmental history. Above all, the census showed the value of investing in large-scale, collaborative projects and sharing results publicly.

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