Every Fish in the Sea: Findings of the First Census of Marine life

dick thanks very much for the kind introduction it superior to be here any reasons and with an extra three it’s a wonderful sirak i do want to begin by saying i’m representing close to 3,000 people as as dick met what i’ll be sharing with you in the next 40 minutes or so the result of the culmination of many many people from more than 80 countries and it’s a privilege to speak on their behalf i want to take special note of the role of Alfred P Sloan variation in the program a little at the talk about the management of the program but the sloan foundation provided the the platform the the core funding for the program over more than a decade and so I want to make a special appreciation it’s not easy to get continuity for programs like this I also want to thank the scientific community in the Washington DC area washington DC in fact the most important places in the world it’s for ocean science and I want to take special note of a couple of the elders who tutored me and helped me to learn how to do something like this dr Frank press who’s here this evening past president National Academy of Sciences I watched him to the National decade of natural aster reduction other programs and also Eve white is here this evening mrs. railroad em white and Bob was the the greater of the global research time and the world climber Graham and other tremendous complex scientific programs from which the census took many lessons I won’t read all the names here but you can see that in the Washington area there were people from the federal agencies from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration the Office of Naval Research the National Science Foundation from the consortium for ocean leadership from the National Geographic Society of the Smithsonian and perhaps some of you are in the audience and others from the area who contributed to the program and I want to thank you I know Jim Baker is here jim was the administrator of NOAA when the first glimmer of the program came around and we went to see Jim and said well what do you think about this and he said well it’s it’s it’s crazy but you should try and we did and then Jim played a major role actually in carrying out the program well what was it as dick mentioned it was a decade-long program officially beginning in two thousand going until 2010 to look at diversity all the forms of life in the ocean distribution where they live their addresses and abundance how many of each kind how many individuals are how many kilos and we were interested in everything that lived in the ocean and this was one of the different things about the census all previous studies of marine life had limited themselves to a few thousand forms of ocean life and we ended up looking at about 250,000 so it wasn’t only what was in the fish stores or in an aquarium we looked from the very small the microbes to the largest animals on earth marine mammals the whales and we looked in all ocean realms from the the poles to the equators from the deep sea to the sea surface the national academy of sciences national research council ocean studies board study that helping the census get going at its outset said well we should organize around four great questions what did live in the oceans for which we developed a program on the history of marine animal populations what does live in the oceans what’s there today for which we developed many field projects to go out and look and then program to look at what will live in the oceans the future for which one needs to to develop numerical models to forecast and then finally there’s the question of how to access and visualize all the information now this seems routine with the internet but in the late 90s the question of how to how to visualize was much more wide open first let me give you some reminders about the oceans themselves the vast varied environments here you see a map of Earth

the way oceanographers see it the the land areas are featureless and dull and the oceans have all the interest and you can see there are these dark blue a Bissel planes the the largest habitat on earth averaging about 12,000 feet deep there are huge mountain ranges like the mid-atlantic ridge here the largest mountain range on earth rising from the sea floor like the Andes or the Rockies and sometimes piercing the sea surface as in the Azores Islands then the the shelves the shallow shelves which may be a 200 300 feet deep the in the salmon pink from the the shelves you have the continental margins that slope down to the into the Epistle plains of course in the shallow areas you have reefs so we wanted to look at all these different environments and again from the poles to the tropical regions in all the oceans well why now and dick shared some of the motivation in his opening remarks on the one hand the ocean is more crowded than ever there are more uses and more users there’s fishing their offshore oil and gas windmills people want to put energy machines out there to capture tidal waves tech types we may capture the energy from the tides so the industrialization of the oceans is a motivation many changes that are taking place here you see a map of the surface of the world oceans for the year 2009 with all the ship tracks of large vessels recorded there about a hundred thousand large vessels now in the oceans altogether more than about three hundred gross tons about three times the number that there were in 1960 and so you can see many oceans are being crisscrossed on the surface all the time by by the vessels the seafloor is crowded too here you see seafloor cables telecommunications cables those of you with your blackberries or not blackberries anymore your your your your iPhone 5s you may be communicating through satellites but more likely you’re communicating through seafloor cables if you’re communicating long distances or getting information and so you see all the cables laid across the Atlantic or across the Pacific down to Australia and scalloping along the quote the coasts it’s easier to lay a telecommunications cable in the seafloor off of the coast of Brazil than to burrow through the jungle and all these these are optical fiber cables all laid in the last 25 years this may look like the map of the railroads in the in New York or Pennsylvania in 1850 or in England but it’s not it’s the sea floor south of New Orleans here’s this is New Orleans Louisiana and here’s Houston and these are oil and gas pipelines that transport oil and gas extracted from the sea floor in the Gulf of Mexico onto to the coast and the the North Sea and South China Sea and other areas are the same so both the sea surface and the seafloor are being industrialized and lots of activity so it seemed a very good idea to have a baseline now of all life in the oceans with all these changes taking place now how would one go about that well if you’re in the near shore and interested in what’s living in shallow water and rocky shores and tidal pools like Robin Rigg be here you can take these these metal frames these quadrats and in some and with snorkeling or with some simple scuba gear you can go to shallow water and lay these over different areas of the sea floor and count what’s in each square photograph it in some case take samples and so there’s a particular culture for the near shore work if you’re if you’re trying to work in the Antarctic and this is a Patrick help and some members of our Antarctic team of course the conditions are quite different it’s much harder much more expensive much more dangerous and this is in the good Antarctic season so the polar researchers have quite a different style and of course you need lots of different technologies finally here’s an example from the Arctic this is an expedition that I had the privilege of participating in and we used these these submersibles with with cameras and lights and and jars that could suck up some of the creatures that we could see with the cameras this could go down 10,000 feet to the sea floor and the Arctic Ocean and we had under I scuba

divers we had devices that could land on the seafloor we had nets that could be lowered to different depths to collect jellies and we had people with little vials collecting little little bottles of water ampules of water with microbes in them so on our expeditions we had all kinds of people working shallow and deep working on large animals and small finally it became a concerto of technologies so there were people working on the ice is just now there were people flying in airplanes using a kind of laser ranging lidar s to look into the the veneer surface of the ocean we had scuba divers we had manned submersibles we had unmanned submersibles we had fish with cell phones reporting back to us animal allies so it the the only way to do it finally was through this whole integrating this whole range of technologies so there were 14 different field projects polar reefs large animals plankton so forth well let me give a preview of the results this is a wonderful cartoon by the the cartoonist Jim to me Sherman’s Lagoon some of you may read his his cartoon and he took an interest in the census and ran several series that the Washington Post among others published and here you can see that the sea life itself this fish is looking at the shark and so here you can see his little board says census of marine life and manta ray and so forth whitetip shark and he’s counting and the well the so the well there was a I’ll come back to this there’s some there is some humor in the whole program to the so we looked as I mentioned the outset at diversity the kinds of life and as dick mention the the headline is the oceans are even richer in diversity than anybody had known or been able to to show distribution the oceans are more connected than had ever been appreciated in more ways and in terms of abundance more altered now let me now go into the main part of the talk and I’ll talk first about diversity some of what we learned about diversity then I’ll talk some about what we learned about distribution and then some about abundance I mentioned earlier the the largest mountain range on earth the mid-atlantic ridge running here between South American Africa and between North America and Europe we had big expeditions led by a Norwegian team from Bergen that did wonderful work and the both in the North Atlantic and the South Atlantic now of course this area between New England and England and France and so forth this has been traversed by vessels regularly for 500 years and you might think that everything has been discovered but far from it there were many new species discovered on the Atlantic Ridge in the North Atlantic including this magnificent octopus the and this is one of the twelve hundred new species that that dick mentioned that the census discovered so you know even even though lots of ocean liners & freighters and and oceanographic research vessels have crossed back and forth there the ocean the oceans are still there’s still an enormous amount to discover I’ll come back to the seam about how much is still unknown another octopus this is an octopus that that came and registered with us that came and visited with us Nancy Knowlton of who’s the lead scientist ocean scientists at the Smithsonian Institution here in Washington and her colleagues developed a wonderful simple new technology for looking at what lives on reefs basically empty doll houses and imagine putting an empty dollhouse on each of a couple of hundred different reefs around the world and you leave the dollhouse there for a year and then you collect it and you see what’s moved in it’s a completely non destructive way of sampling the reef you don’t have to drill into the reef you don’t have to try to pull things out let the the animals come and move in and this marvelous octopus moved into one of the census stall houses on the Great Barrier Reef and that was a new species that had never been described before plankton there are lots of small things that float around in the in the oceans there was a very strong team looking at at about 12,000 different kinds of

plankton that that are known to live in the oceans and discovering more new ones and this was one that was found in near between the Philippines and Indonesia and the Celebes sea in the western Pacific nicknamed the squid worm just amazing beautiful animals the Angola Basin off southern Africa there was a German led expedition there on the sea floor on the Epistle planes there and they found 800 different copepods a sort of bugs bug like creatures living on the sediment and in the sediment and then our southern ocean team found more than 700 isopods which 500 we believe are new to science they haven’t all been described yet here you see five examples of the copepods and isopods and you know there I think they’re as good as the jeweler’s on Fifth Avenue in New York the imagination it’s hard to compete with nature’s imagination of course we also found new fish the title of my talk is every fish in the sea we made an estimate of the number of known fish in the sea at the time of the release of our statement it was sixteen thousand seven hundred eighty four different kinds of known true fishes true marine fishes and the the ichthyologists in the project estimated that there is still between four and five thousand more fish yet to be discovered so those of you who want to name a fish for someone in your family if still may have an opportunity this was a new reef fish discovered by rich pile from the Bishop Museum in Honolulu Hawaii and dick mentioned the encyclopedia of life when we as soon as we would discover a new species we would it’s like Facebook we would give it a page with images and gene sequences and other kinds of information and in fact this online encyclopedia of life now has web pages for more than 130,000 of marine species so about half of the known marine species now have have have pages the now the species it’s not just that we discovered astounding species but they’re in the astounding richness but they we discovered a lot of biologically very interesting species and kinds of species for example the carnivorous sponges you wouldn’t want to be a shrimp swimming by one of these sponges it’s like kind of like a Venus flytrap plant in the Amazon the these were the first known carnivorous sponges and it turns out they’re actually quite a few of them in the in the deep sea to the there are many ways of making a living also longevity we’re accustomed to the idea that some forms of marine life like turtles or whales may live a hundred to take some of there’s some whales live longer than 200 years but imagine a sea worm that was born before Christopher Columbus this is a type of sea worm that leaves it creates a kind of shell around itself and you can use the the chemical composition of the shell to estimate the age of the worm and these worms found by a team led by Chris German from Woods Hole Ava Ramirez from Barcelona explored one of the deep canyons 6,000 feet deep in the Gulf of Mexico and they found these these worms that are more than 500 years old so the these are there may be some interesting things we can learn from for human medicine and so forth from some of these very long-lived creatures another very interesting discovery science fiction authors and people interested in the origins of life had been speculating for some time that there should be an aerobic animals animals that would live without oxygen and Roberto Donna Varro census researcher from Italy from the University of ancona in Italy on an expedition looking at the sea floor in the eastern Mediterranean not too far from the island of Crete for the first time found this species of the Laura sifrin his wife’s name is Cinzia he named it for his wife anna laura kiss

Cinzia and these are probably survivors from an ancient anoxic ecological from from hundreds of millions of years ago before the oceans were filled with with more oxygen we found new habitats also not just new species and in places where again where you think well maybe everything is already known the Gulf of cadiz spain here’s gibraltar here’s the Gulf of Cadiz and this again is where Christopher Columbus and many others set sail for the new world and you’d think here in an area like that people would know what lived there but it turns out that mud volcanoes very interesting habitat on the seafloor there now quite a few of them have been discovered and there are particular kinds of life of course that live in association with these mud volcanoes and like some other animals that live in the so-called vents the deep sea vents they they don’t depend on sunlight they don’t depend on photosynthesis there’s a whole distinctive fauna and this one people thought it had looked a little bit like a rastafarians so it was named the Bob Marley worm at the end of the the decade we made a fresh estimate of the total species known species in the ocean for the first time I was actually a surprised when we started the program in the late 90s that there wasn’t some book or some list they’re already of all the forms of life in the ocean but there wasn’t and our best estimate is there about 250,000 known name species already and there is now a website which has about 220,000 of those that are in an orderly list very accessible and we also estimated how many remain to be discovered and we think ninety percent of the forms of life in the ocean remain to be discovered and described there may be two million more species most of them very small of course but there’s just an enormous amount now why would there’s be so much still to discover rare animals the long tail something i’ll come back to things that are small and of course the oceans are just very hard to sample their immense they have 3d complexity there are habitats that are very hard to reach and also actually there are very few experts for many of the groups so worms if you know there may be quite a few people who study fish theologists but there aren’t so many people who study the the nematodes or some of the other forms of life so there’s a there is just a lot to be learned about some of the lesser-known tax of the lesser-known groups well we aggregated what we knew in 25 different regions to try to get a general picture of what a typical region might look like for example the mid-atlantic here if you went to the coast and in Virginia or Delaware or North Carolina and the area like this might have let’s say 10,000 known species and if you go to the fish store of course you’re used to the idea that they’ll be they’ll be fish but if you divide up by different groups by different the the 10,000 typical known species you find in fact that the most abundant of the known species are crustaceans the crabs lobsters shrimp barnacles at nineteen percent next would come the mollusks at seventeen percent the clams the squared the octopus the fish would be third some of the small protists would be fourth the sum of the algae and the plant-like organisms would be fifth the worms six jellyfish seventh and so on so the we try to give people a broader sense of what the totality of marine life is and it’s certainly more than is then as the fit in the fish store in turn that information can be useful in thinking about parks or protected areas national parks or marine protected areas for the ocean we made maps for a lot of different regions in which we charted the the diversity or the richness in terms of biodiversity of different areas so here you see the Caribbean this is Cuba Haiti and Dominican Republic puerto rico venezuela columbia panama and so forth and the the the the darkness of the red square means the the richness of the diversity of that region and you can see there are some areas like the coast of Colombia or

the coast of baileys or coast of Cuba east of Puerto Rico which have a special richness and of course if you’re interested as many of us are in marine conservation then this provides an objective and rational basis for designating areas as parks you want these hot spots to be the areas that receive the most careful protection in fact we also made maps for the entire world using the entire database of the census to estimate the the richness of biodiversity for all taxa for coastal taxa and for the the the oceanic taxa the things like the tuna and for that go out in the deep blue and what comes across very strongly of course is this incredible richness of the region from Japan down through Philippines Malaysia Indonesia down to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia this area sometimes called the Coral Triangle so people intuitively had known this but it had not been possible the there hadn’t been the databases hadn’t existed to make really objective descriptions of the diversity let me turn to distribution now where things live and here’s the Viper fish named for Sloan also the and here are places that’s been recorded to live so you can see here’s a fish that lives in in many places there it probably lives in lots more places these are just the observations we have and one of the very important things the census did as I mentioned the outside was create a spatial database where everybody who makes reliable observations of a species could enter that information so all the different people who study the Viper fish or all the different people who study a barnacle or a jelly could all enter it into a shared database showing locations now some some marine animals may skip one submarine animals are sessile they stay in one place they sit in one place and others move but in any case you’d like to know what lives in a given region and it can be useful one example is the Gulf of Mexico shortly before the Deepwater Horizon accident in April of 2010 fortunately our Gulf of Mexico team led by westin el from Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi Texas had completed the first comprehensive baseline list of all the species in the Gulf of Mexico 15,000 419 that they’d identified they put this into a database here’s a map of the Gulf of Mexico here’s Louisiana here’s where the Deepwater Horizon spill occurred here’s Florida Mexico Cuba and you can see there are eight pie slices here and in the north-northeast pie slice of the gulf of mexico where the spill occurred Wes and his colleagues had recorded the presence of 8330 two different species and you can imagine this list was downloaded a lot after the accident occurred and was extremely important you can’t do before and after studies unless you have a baseline now tuna their tuna that live in the Gulf of Mexico that swim all the way past the coast here and go all the way up to to Canada you don’t want to you need to know the movements of animals if you want to do a census you don’t want to count the same one twice the and lots of species in fact migrate long distances we follow the census followed more than 40 species on long-distance migrations I’ll show you just a few examples this is a leatherback turtle leatherback turtles got their cell phones on a beach in Costa Rica and they swam out past the Galapagos Islands here you see South America peru would be over here and she lay down here and their cell phones also took the temperature of the water when they would dive and the animals of course dive to to eat and forage and we’re able to develop a picture of the physical attributes of the ocean as well very valuable here’s another example elephant seals big seals here’s Antarctica the South Pole would be there this is the Antarctic Peninsula that goes up towards South America and there’s a shallow shelf here the yellow is the continent the landmass the Atlanta nice and here you can see the elephant seals swam from what’s called a

seamount one seamount to another so the sea mounts were like like rest stops or McDonald’s along in the ocean and so you can see that the the a lot of the animals use these the topological geographical attributes of the of the open ocean sea life itself will aggregate around these features so there’s more to eat and then you can see that they they dive also down to the tops of the sea mounts and in some cases the deepest dive that we had in the census was 2,300 meters that’s almost 7,000 feet if you think of how you feel when you try to dive without scuba gear just 10 or 12 feet down imagine the physiology of an animal that can dive five or six times as deep as the Empire State Building and these were another type type of seal crabeater seals that like to live on the on the shelf these are the elephant seals again here’s Antarctica South America Australia and you see they they Antarctica’s their habitat they circumnavigate the entire continent so the world looks very different to the if you’re in elephant seal from a human obviously or a barnacle and they’re just these endless ways of connecting the oceans things can connect by drifting but they can connect by actively swimming as well as the elephant seals do we also looked at animals along the shore along the coastline so we use something like easy pass we team based in Vancouver set up toll booths along the west coast of North America and British Columbia and Alaska and again we gave the animals sort of cell phones and let me just show you a very short animation some of you have probably been to the Rocky Mountains and we tagged some of the animals in the Rocky Mountains in the Snake River here they got the red and blue means they have tags and they’re swimming out of the Columbia River this is past Portland and there being these are these are young salmon about the size of a frank footer and a lot of them are being eaten here by by sea birds and seals and so forth but some of them will swim all the way past Vancouver Island and here they’ll appear to portage over this island but they actually swim around it and Alaska is up here and the you know if you’ve gone white water rafting on the snake river and the Rocky Mountains it’s hard to believe but here the days are going by 10 days let me show it one more time in the course of about 60 days an animal the size of a frank footer swims 1,500 miles from Idaho to Alaska and these kinds of migrations had never been followed in detail until the census help advance the technology and this sort of thing is now in much more widespread use and by having these the sort of toll booths along the shore one could follow them and it’s very important because you want to know where animals die in the oceans as well not just from fishing but from other causes go back to the name presentation so here you see the size of the salmon being tagged again it’s the size of a hot dog or a banana and it will be able to swim 1,500 miles now we saw pictures of tuna early bluefin tuna and this is the tale of one tuna that we first gave a cell phone to off Southern California over here in the dark blue dots it was January February and then come the green dots March April in the course of two months the salmon swam most of the way to Japan then in the course of May and June the yellow dots it went all the way to Tokyo it saw that with the Japanese due to tuna it turned around and in the red dots in the course of the next 60 days at swam to Mexico the this one particular tuna swam 25,000 nautical miles in 600 days in both the Atlantic and the Pacific there’s been debate about whether there are separate populations that live here and live here but the census was able to show that a tuna may be in Sicily or in near Spain one month and three months later it could be in the Gulf of Mexico or Florida so the the animals have connect the ocean in incredible ways and finally they form that you know these kind of

these highways these white dots are the bluefin tuna going back and forth commuting like Jet Set businessmen between Los Angeles and Tokyo the the yellow dots are these are white sharks that go back and forth between San Francisco and Hawaii I’ll come back to that these are turtles so they’re they’re a what we came to call blue highways and their neighborhoods so you know if you’re flying over the Atlantic or the Pacific you look down it just looks dark blue or black but actually if you look underneath you know it’s like the DC metro there’s all this stuff going on underneath all this all this all this movement and I’ll now show you another short animation the same thing with this is the North Pacific and it shows a lot of different species time is going by and the the colors here represent the heat of the water the sea surface temperature so red or orange means warm water blue means cold water and so it’s getting colder up here and some these are salmon sharks that are leaving the Gulf of Alaska and Prince William Sound and here you see in the the yellow these are the the tuna again leave the go from California this way and the there are elephant seals that go from California up to the Aleutian Islands so the they’re all these patterns going on mrs. work that was led by Barbara block from Stanford University and Don Costa from University of California at Santa Cruz there’s similar work has been done in several other oceans now and so as the seasons are going by as the water temperature is changing all this stuff is going on all these seasonal migrations different kinds of animals connecting the oceans in in different ways so the the the the the the it’s not a featureless it only looks featureless to us the one of the remarkable examples of migration is the white shark this is the west coast of California can sort of see San Francisco Bay the little bit of blue up there and Monterey would be down here this is the peninsula that goes up to the city of San Francisco on December 15th of 2005 one of the members of the census tagged a white shark over here and this is the track of the white shark it swam all the way to Hawaii and hung around mostly the Big Island eating pineapples or doing whatever surfing and then it swam back and you can see a little less than a year later on october eleventh two thousand six it shed its tag just a few hundred yards from where it was tagged so you know we’re a little bit used to the idea that birds migrate or that salmon migrate but think about swimming yourself for think about just trying to find Hawaii from San Francisco if you jumped in the water to get it then if you got to Hawaii imagine swimming back to exactly the same spot so there’s all this vertical motion in the ocean but there’s horizontal motion to and the world’s largest migration is not the traffic in Washington DC every morning it’s actually from about 1,200 feet 400 meters down in the ocean to the surface each day here you see the height of the Eiffel Tower and this was a day in June in 2004 in the North Atlantic and all this kind of yellow green stuff is sea life fish and jellies and plankton and different kinds of things and this is it’s noon 1200 hours then about nine o’clock at night 2130 it gets dark and all of a sudden all these animals go up to the surface where it’s now dark and there they feel safer and they can feed and then at 448 in the morning you know Sun is starting to rise and down they go so but you know if you imagine a shrimp climbing the Eiffel Tower in the course of about an hour and then descending again the next morning so there’s just incredible movement and connectivity now let me speak about abundance having spoken about diversity and distribution here you see a family with some large groupers that they caught off Key West this has worked on by our history team that collected lots of postcards and photos to try to understand changes and here’s a photograph of the Greyhound the same recreational fishing boat in 2007 and Key West and you can see quite a contrast between the catch and the story in terms of abundance unfortunately is not a happy one it goes way back though it’s not just modern times here the Romans were incredibly effective

fishermen tuna was actually the favorite food of the Romans and the Romans are believed to extract it about a hundred thousand tons a year of sea life from the Mediterranean and using very sophisticated nets and hooks and techniques swordfish are pund off North America off this this area in a bit north of New Jersey off Massachusetts Maine Nova Scotia you can see the average swordfish harpooned in 1860 was about 500 pounds and then by 1880 it was smaller and by 1930 it was less than 200 pounds so the the large animals the the it’s not just in the last few years the techniques for hunting were very efficient earlier now you might think this is the Tokyo fish market the Japanese the zoo coogi famous for port for the tuna but in fact this is a bluefin tuna fish market in Denmark in 1946 there were there were big big populations of bluefin tuna in the North Atlantic until the early 1950s there used to be a sport fishing tournament to catch the biggest tuna between Sweden and Denmark between Copenhagen there’s an Al bridge that goes from Copenhagen over to Sweden and people used to catch tuna like this it’s nineteen nineteen forty six the cover of a Swedish sport fishing magazine and now needless to say you’re lucky to catch a herring in that area but as dick said at the beginning there are there is still a lot and the here in the Gulf of Maine here’s Cape Cod Boston using a new technique a new acoustic technique a kind of acoustic lighthouse we found huge schools of herring which Americans don’t eat that much now and it’s one of the reasons the populations are strong and one of the largest aggregations of animals ever seen a quarter of a billion fish 250 million herring were seen in a show about the size of Manhattan Island we then when we did net a few of them to make sure it wasn’t just computers telling us that that our our teams doing integrative work then looked at lots of different studies of different kinds for example 12-14 studies of reef fish and 41 studies of sharks to try to estimate the fraction that had been lost since fishing became important say 500 years ago and in many of the groups ninety percent of we believe that ninety percent of the large animals have been lost in some of the groups like the seals the pinnipeds in the whales this lighter gray bar indicates recovery so in the areas where there’s protection like some of the ground fish some of the seabirds some of the whales and the seals the good news is that there has been there has been their recovery extinction is rare in the oceans it’s hard to get that last animal it’s the oceans are so big so if we leave things alone things can grow back direct removal of animals fishing is the biggest cause of the decline of populations but there are other causes to habitat destruction but a very tragic one is the marine debris on one of the expedition’s in the northwest Hawaiian Islands great photographer Susan Middleton photographed this albatross and everything in the belly of the albatross the those of you who have cats you know that cats sometimes swallow things and then they’ll regurgitate them and albatross are the same and some of the other seabirds they’ll swallow things that that are not digestible shells whatever and regurgitate them but when you swallow cigarette lighters and so forth and a lot of bottle caps it’s hard to survive and this is one albatross I’ve spoken mainly about the larger forms of sea life but there’s a hidden majority the marine microbes small stuff and in fact by weight the marine microbes probably make up ninety percent of everything in the ocean if you see of the ocean most ninety percent of what you’d have would be very small form very small forms of life and when you take a gulp of seawater you may have 20,000 phylotypes eight thousand different kinds of the very small life and of course these are in many cases ubiquitous and also connect the oceans in the same way in it well in a way in an important way and just as large animals do and these small things can aggregate into big things one of the wonderful discoveries of the

census was a mat a bacterial mat the size of Greece of Chile one of the largest known living objects ever seen and it’s a filamentous map like a carpet made out of a bacteria called high up loca in fact one of the biggest discoveries of the census was in the the very small stuff the microbes the the census of marine microbes team led by Mitch slogan from the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences which is one of the most cited papers of the census microbial diversity in the deep sea and the underexplored rare biosphere this long tail there are a few things like that thigh up loca that are high abundance but then they’re out there in nature they’re just this there’s this enormous reservoir of possibility of different ways of being and if the circumstances the context were to change maybe things that were out here and rare would move up here with climate change or other changes it’s very important to understand some of these low abundance populations better and this paper in a few years has already garnered more than a thousand citations and become a citation classic finally we estimate that there are 10 to the 28th microbes in the ocean just numbers that are you know kind of how can you even decide between 10 to the 27th a 10 to the 29th it’s crazy but the when you look at the oceans you should look at the oceans the way you look at the stars in the sky the in terms of the microbes the very small life it’s a it’s a it’s a galaxy of microbes along with the the tuna and the turtles and the big ball the big forms of life I’ve spoken about what we learned mostly about the the explored the the what we know but I’ve also mentioned sometimes what remains to be discovered or what’s unexplored here’s a map looking down on the North Pole here’s Greenland here’s Canada Alaska Russia Scandinavia Iceland the red means we have a lot of records in the in the marine life database of the census and you can see that around England Ireland lots of measures around New England lots of measures around the northwest of the United States lots and lots of observations and measures but the dark blue means very few and white means essentially none so the there are still many many unexplored parts of the oceans for life we may have looked at the we may have we may have a geological map but it means we haven’t had systematic biological exploration and you can see there’s just a tremendous bias towards areas that are near the rich countries near major major marine labs and so forth here are two maps of the eastern Pacific here’s Australia and South America over here again Australia and South America these are big squares we’re five degrees squares mr. these are small squares so if you look at a big square and ask do we have a measure well then there are quite a few squares where there are measures but even with these five degrees squares in the eastern Mediterranean Pacific there are just completely biologically unexplored regions and if you use smaller squares and a one degree square is still a very large a bit of bit of Earth I should let’s say it’s Delaware it would be bigger than that the nobody has looked at all so you can see again they’re just much of the ocean is still just unexplored for for life that’s looking down imagine taking a slice through the water so the top this this is the surface of the water this is the seafloor and red means a lot of observations so near shore near surface there are a lot of observations and people then send a box or a diver or a submarine down to the sea floor and look but you can see the vast mid waters here also the dark blue means essentially no records so the by volume the mid waters are the largest habitat on earth and most of the the mid waters of the ocean again are are there are just no observations let me talk briefly about the some of the practical benefits of the census and then I’ll say a little bit about the census and art and wrap up dick mention the DNA barcodes these short DNA identifiers that can tell you whether something is an anemone or a

snail or a shrimp or a sea star these represent these these colored stripes represent the the nucleotides of DNA the base pairs and each form of life will have a slightly different it’s like a fingerprint DNA barcode and we teamed up with the census researchers teamed up with with geneticists to build a growing library of marine species for identification and one of the wonderful things that happened was one of the first successful citizen science projects to high school students seniors at the Trinity School in New York City decided to do a study of sushi being sold in restaurants and fish stores in New York they will it help them get into college but they had a lot of fun too they did buying and eating with sushi and then doing the DNA extraction and testing and they wrote a small article for it about for an obscure magazine Pacific fishing magazine they made the front page of the New York Times and this led to the so called sushi gate scandal it turned out that a quarter of the fish being sold in in Manhattan was inaccurately labeled and in every case something inexpensive was being sold as something expensive for example a lot of lot of fish was being sold as red snapper some of it was actually freshwater Nile perch you can see it’s a bit different and there are quite a few other mistaken mistakes spotted Caribbean goatfish was being sold as Mediterranean mullet tilapia which is again a freshwater fish was being sold as a kind of tuna and there been a series of these studies now in different parts of the US and around the world and everywhere in the world where it’s been done between ten and fifty percent of the seafood has been inaccurately labeled the FDA is now trying to use the US Food and Drug Administration is now trying to use this technique to get to improve the Consumer Protection public engagement the I think you can see already that there are lots of wonderful discoveries and to our delight artists and all kinds of people took an interest in the census this was one of the wonderful species discovered the Yeti crab discovered in the South Pacific very deep water and the Yeti crab appeared on skateboards it also added those stuffed animal all kinds of things this is another example it’s a beautiful squid jeweled squid from the North Atlantic and a fabric artist in California started making pennants beautiful pennants this is all made out of fabric with sequins and painted fabric and here you can see some sea stars on the sea floor and this beautiful jeweled squid artists started coming on the expedition’s this is a Norwegian watercolor artist or an elf opdahl and he came on one of the expeditions on the in the North Atlantic and here you can see him working and his on on the ship this was the artist’s model here you can see some of the paintings these were exhibited in the the the main art art museum that in Oslo Norway and elsewhere another Norwegian artist a sculptress and edvardsson took an interest especially in some of the hollow Thorian sea cucumbers and some of the mollusks and did these just magnificent sculptures art and science really are the same they’re both about observation and I think and edwardson saw these the these forms of sea life as as well as we do looking through microscopes the census had the wonderful fortune also to team with a french-led project to make a documentary about ocean life a film called oceans led by the great director emea some of you may have seen a film called winget migration about the long-distance migration of birds or a film called micro cosmos about insects we worked with him on the film Ocean’s a version was released in the US by Disney which I would say is not as good as the version seen in the rest of the world which is more of a Disney made it for a younger audience if time permits at the very end try to show you maybe just three minutes from that of course we produced books almost

everything is available open access online we produced a report that’s available in many languages final report again I mentioned open access a lot of we worked a lot with public library of science or their collections of the paper so almost everything I’ve described to you is available easily and freely online we teamed up with a national geographic society here in Washington DC which has some of the world’s best cartographers to make a two-sided wall map which was extensively distributed and is also available online in a zoomable form that this was an incredible discipline I think for the the researchers in the program to to try to decide what information would actually go into this the last thing I want to say is that of course the experience at the outside I mentioned Frank press and Bob white and cooperative international science projects and it’s one of the great joys of working in science it’s a better world in many ways here you see the team that worked on the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf at a meeting at sultan qaboos university in Muscat we had very good participation by Iranian scientists here’s the the Caribbean team which was led by wonderful expert on Queen conks from Simon Bolivar University and Caracas Venezuela the southern Africa team the Indian Ocean team the comal dots en china here this was a meeting that all of us had on the queen mary in long beach and marine biology hadn’t had a tradition of big science you know compared to astronomy or physics or some other fields and I think one of everybody I think had a very happy experience that we can work together successfully dick mentioned that the gratifying award in 2011 of the Japan awarded major major prize the International cosmos prize to the census the the word of more than half a million dollars this is the grand summary first it can be done at the beginning and speaking with Jim Bakker that this was part of the question could could it actually be done 2700 scientists more than 80 countries 540 field expeditions total expenditure globally we estimate including all the ship time about 650 million dollars over the 11-year cheers 1200 new species to squirt discovered and described about 5,000 more awaiting description 130,000 species with web pages 35,000 species with genetic identification thousands of publications as I said at the beginning finally marine life is richer more connected more altered and yet less known and less explored we did end with a poll to see the most popular animal and the winner was this blob fish so no it’s it’s a beautiful animal and so mr blobby as he came to be called was voted the most popular animal in the in the census and on that note dico