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Counting Ocean Life And Making It Matter

Nature, the prestigious scientific journal published the results of the Census of Marine Life’s Tagging of Pacific Predators project.

The Census tagged 23 different species of 4,035 ocean creatures and enabled 75 researchers from 5 countries to learn that the eastern Pacific Ocean is abundant with wildlife and incredible marine superhighways of migration corridors used by sharks and seabirds.

It’s precedent-setting. It’s a tremendous tool for conservation and management,” said Jesse Ausubel, vice president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and co-founder of the Census of Marine Life. “We were literally blind. We can now see. We know what’s underneath now.” The study proved that the California Current (which flows south along the West Coast of the U.S., Canada and Mexico) and a trans-oceanic migration highway called the North Pacific Transition Zone (which connects the western and eastern Pacific on the boundary between sub-arctic and subtropical waters) provide a critical habitat for many species.

These findings can now enable policy makers to establish protective zones and enact legislation to protect these valuable species in a scientifically-based call to action.

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