We’re in the final months of a historic census.  Not the one counting you and me, but all the fish in the sea.

grassle fred Rutgers Prof. Sees Undersea Census as Good First StepKYW’s John Ostapkovich reports that the Census of Marine Life has been a pet project of Rutgers University professor J. Frederick Grassle of the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences (right).

He credits a colleague with persuading Canada to put some dollars into the fish census:

“Now we have the resources to really look at different habitats all over the world and get the first real glimpse of what life is like, particularly in the deep sea.”

fish school full Rutgers Prof. Sees Undersea Census as Good First Step

(File photo)

He says there’s work still to go, but the early results are in:

“We have the first real  descriptions of what’s in the ocean.  This is Census 2010, and I think we’re going to have a 2020 look at the ocean as well.  So I think a lot of what the census has done was provide us with a better baseline than what we had to start the present census.”

Grassle says another major area of progress being able to follow the amazing journeys of migratory fish that swim long distances for life.

He says the insights gained from the census will enable better protection of sensitive ocean areas.