Scientists plan to identify 100,000 marine species in the next decade

Category: Science/Environment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. census / ˈsɛn səs / (n.) – the official process of collecting information, such as counting the number of people in an area, asking about monthly income, etc.

    The data about our target market came from the new census.

  2. bring attention to (something) / brɪŋ əˈtɛn ʃən tʊ / (idiom) – to make someone know about something

    Hundreds of protesters participated in a rally to bring attention to issues about the environment.

  3. date / deɪt / (v.) – to identify how long something has existed

    The old newspapers we found in the attic dated from 1953 to 1955.

  4. house / haʊz / (v.) – to provide a space or shelter for something

    This art gallery houses award-winning art pieces by famous artists.

  5. endeavor / ɛnˈdɛv ər / (n.) – an attempt to do something difficult

    We fully support our children’s artistic endeavors.


Read the text below.

Submarines, robots and even artificial intelligence are some of the tools scientists will use to identify new species in the ocean.

Ocean Census, launched on April 27, aims to identify 100,000 marine species in the next decade.

“Well, at the moment, our knowledge of where life is in the ocean, how much of it there is, is very limited. And without that knowledge, we can’t modify our human activities to conserve that life for future generations,” says Professor Alex Rogers, director of Ocean Census, who will participate in the organization’s first mission, in the Arctic.

Founded by Nekton, a UK-based research institute, and The Nippon Foundation, a Japanese non-profit, Ocean Census is an alliance of scientific organizations wanting to accelerate the discovery of marine species.

“People are too focused on outer space, however, little is known beneath our feet – the ocean. That’s why it’s so important to bring attention to the ocean through these new discoveries,” says Yōhei Sasakawa, chairperson of The Nippon Foundation.

And the clock is ticking.

Talking during a Nekton mission in 2022, Aya Naseem, co-founder of Maldives Coral Institute said: “We’re moving to a 1.5 degrees rise in global temperatures by 2030, and at that rate, corals of the world will be reduced by more than 90%. So unless we can drastically reduce global carbon emissions, coral reefs will not survive.”

Ocean Census aims to be the “largest program in history to discover new marine life.”

It’ll be based in Oxford, U.K., at the University Museum of Natural History, which houses specimen finds dating back to the time of Charles Darwin.

“It is an ambitious endeavor, but ambition is what we need at the moment,” says Professor Steve Widdicombe, director of science at Plymouth Marine Laboratory, who isn’t associated with Ocean Census or its partners.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Ocean Census aims to identify 100,000 marine species. How might the discovery of new marine species benefit society? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, is the exploration of new species in the ocean doing more harm than good for the environment? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Does your government support ambitious scientific endeavors (ex. space exploration, shifting to renewable energy sources)? Which scientific endeavor is your government currently supporting? Are you interested in it? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, what ambitious environmental goal should be pursued in your country? What makes it ambitious? Discuss.