Program Update: Census of Marine Life – June 2011
Census of Marine Life researchers published several major scientific articles this month. The Tagging of Pacific Predators (TOPP) project, with the Future of Animal Populations (FMAP) program, published a piece that culminates the TOPP program’s decade-long effort to track top marine predator movements in the Pacific Ocean. It presents for the first time the results for all 23 tagged species and reveals how migrations and habitat preferences overlap — a remarkable picture of critical marine life pathways and habitats. For more information, please visit http://www.comlsecretariat.org/2011/pacifics-california-current-likened-to-africas-serengeti/. The Arctic Ocean Diversity (ArcOD) team also guest-edited a special issue of the journal Marine Biodiversity entitled, “Arctic Ocean Diversity: Synthesis.” OBIS-USA was featured in the June issue of Oceanography, with an article entitled, “OBIS-USA: A Data Sharing Legacy of the Census of Marine Life.”
The Scientific Planning Committee continues their efforts to establish a follow-on marine biodiversity research program to the Census of Marine Life called Life in a Changing Ocean. A prospectus is available on the newly created website: http://lifeinachangingocean.org/. Paul Snelgrove, Chair of the Life in a Changing Ocean program, is touring Australia to promote the findings of the Census of Marine Life and to hold workshops to discuss the new program. The stops on his tour include, June 20 (SIMS, Sydney), June 24 (CSIRO, Brisbane), June 27 (AIMS, Townsville), June 28 (James Cook University, Townsville).
The Census of Marine Life participated in several outreach meetings this month, including the UN General Assembly Working Group on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdictions (UN BBNJ) in New York on June 1 and the IUCN D.C. Marine Community meeting on June 16. Edward Vanden Berghe, on behalf of OBIS, is attending the U.N. Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) meeting in Paris, France, where it is expected that the assembly will vote on the resolution recommended by the IODE to formally establish the OBIS Secretariat as an IOC Project Office.