3 News/NZPA:NZ stars in global census of marine biodiversity

New Zealand’s waters have been identified as a hotspot for marine biodiversity, according to a global census on the subject.

There are over 17,000 known species in our waters, and it is expected that there are as many again yet to be discovered.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

Dr MacDiarmid was speaking on the release today of the results from the global Census of Marine Life, which has made an inventory over the past decade of species distribution and diversity in key global ocean areas.

Scientists worldwide combined information collected over centuries with data obtained during the decade-long ensus to create a roll call of species in 25 biologically representative regions – from the Antarctic through temperate oceans such as those around New Zealand, and tropical seas to the Arctic.

The papers published today will help set a baseline for measuring changes that humanity and nature cause.

And they will help guide future decisions on exploration of still poorly-explored waters, especially the abyssal depths, and provide a baseline for still thinly-studied forms, especially small animals.