Research News

Ocean Census and IFREMER Unite to Advance Marine Life Discovery

The Nippon Foundation-Nekton Ocean Census—a global alliance dedicated to the discovery and protection of marine life—is proud to announce its partnership with French marine research institute IFREMER. The collaboration will accelerate the pace of discovery through knowledge-sharing activities, joint research, and the transfer of cyber-taxonomy protocols.

Based in Plouzané, France, the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (IFREMER) seeks to improve knowledge about the ocean and its resources, monitor its environments, as well as design and wield tools to manage the French ocean research fleet—all while ensuring a sustainable development of marine activities.

Both entities are committed to expanding the knowledge about the ocean, and believe that by working together, they can achieve their goals. With the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021–2030) guiding their efforts, the partnership will help advance the discovery of marine life.

“The scientific community estimates that 60 to 80% of the world’s biodiversity is hidden in the oceans. And last estimations support that millions of species still need to be discovered, when today only 300,000 marine species are described. IFREMER, with partners such as Ocean Census, contributes actively to the efforts of the international scientific community,” says Daniela Zeppilli, marine biology and ecology researcher, head of the Deep-Sea Laboratory, IFREMER.

IFREMER and Ocean Census will collaborate through scientific expeditions and taxonomic research. They will work together to advance best practices in the emerging field of cyber-taxonomy, a new approach to the discovery of life that underpins the Ocean Census approach and offers immense potential for the identification of new marine species.

Additional activities will include harnessing technological advancements in high resolution imaging, DNA sequencing and machine learning to accelerate species discovery, along with joint publications.

“I am delighted that Ocean Census has entered into a partnership with IFREMER, an institution with such an amazing history of technical innovation, ocean exploration and discovery. I look forward to working with my colleagues in France to further the mission of Ocean Census, the discovery of marine life,” adds Alex Rogers, Science Director at Ocean Census.

Ocean Census is made possible as a result of a growing Alliance that connects philanthropy with government, business, science, media, and civil society organizations.


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