Scientists go deep to study life underwater

Date: 2/12/2007

Marine biologists from around the world will meet in Auckland to discuss the plight of fish as the deadline looms for the world’s first Census of Marine Life. The Census will give a baseline measure of the health and wealth of the oceans. The 10-year data gathering/reporting exercise began in 2000 and has fished up biodiversity many times greater than previously thought, from a new species of whale to a single cell microbe enclosed in a 1cm shell which lives off the coast of Portugal. The more scientists plumb the depths, the weirder things get. New Zealand has committed $3.8 million to send the research ship Tangaroa to the Ross Sea in Antarctica early next year to gather more data.

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