Polar marine biodiversity - Rich and threatened

500 researchers from more than 25 countries involved in two international science research programs focused on Polar region, the Arctic Ocean Diversity (ArcOD) and the Census of Antarctic Marine Life (CAML) revealed an astonishing diversity of species in both Artic and Antarctic oceans. The Polar marine biodiversity is now obvious, it is thus time to conserve it!

Cousteau Press release - Feb. 15, 2009

Cousteau alerts on Polar Marine Biodiversity rich and threatened, time for conservation measures

The unexpected global marine Biodiversity value of both polar regions (13 000 species
altogether) is now established in a new light by the Census of Marine Life (CAML) and the Arctic Ocean Diversity (ArcOD), two projects of the worldwide program Census of Marine Life (COML). Furthermore, a large proportion of polar organisms are endemic which means that they are found nowhere else on our planet.

Meanwhile, recent studies in the framework of the International Polar Year (IPY) are showing that global climate change seems to hit faster and stronger in polar regions than anywhere else. CAML scientists already observed evidences of the impact of global change on polar biodiversity, with the migration of some cold-water Antarctic species southward as watern temperatures rise further north.

Says Daniel RODARY, coordinator of Polar programs for the Cousteau Society : “ The vision of cold and empty polar oceans belongs to the past. We now see what they are truly, treasuries of unique life-forms, influencing all other bioregions of the world oceans. The need to protect them is now clearer than ever, to ensure that these special and amazing ecosystems we can explore today will also be seen by future generations. We strongly hope that these new and unprecedented result will help foster stronger conservation measures for polar oceans.”

Cousteau – CAML partnership now showing on Google Ocean !

Cousteau Society went into a partnership with the Census of Antarctic Marine Life to achieve Education, Outreach and Communication projects on the CAML programme and expeditions. Cousteau Society offers to follow-up of seven CAML expeditions around Antarctica in coordination with correspondents aboard research icebreakers involved in the CAML programme. The constant contact between sea and land ensured by our correspondents on boards resulted in 299 posts on a dedicated Cousteau-CAML Blog, georeferenced on Google Map (www.cousteau.org/caml). This blog allows a peek in an astonishing world rarely seen or experienced by the general public, thanks to various texts, photos and videos relating the life aboard the research vessels, and their amazing discoveries.

Today the Cousteau Society partners with Google Earth and the whole Cousteau-CAML blog has been added to a specific Expedition Layer of the Google Ocean layer. Browsing the planet, everyone can now follow the seven CAML expeditions on the virtual ocean of Google Earth and discover Antarctic life with the scientists of the Census of Antarctic Marine Life !