「海洋生物地理資訊系統」(Ocean Biogeographic Information System)紀錄了海洋生物普查的觀察資料。管理此系統的博格(Edward Vanden Berghe)，在深於200公尺以下、無法行光合作用的海中，記錄了17650種物種；其中處於深度超過1000公尺的就有5,722種物種。
"The deep sea is the Earth's largest continuous ecosystem and largest habitat for life. It is also the least studied," says Dr. Chris German of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, one of 344 scientists from 34 nations working to identify deep sea creatures for the Census of Marine Life.
By the time the 10-year Census of Marine Life concludes in October 2010, five deep-sea projects will have fielded a total of 210 expeditions, including the first ever voyage to explore the Mid-Atlantic Ridge south of the Equator. The scientific collaboration between Russia, Brazil, South Africa and Uruguay took place in October-November this year.
Five of the Census' 14 field projects plumb the ocean depths beyond light. Each is dedicated to the study of life in progressively deeper realms - from the continental margins to the spine-like ridge running down the mid-Atlantic, the submerged mountains rising from the seafloor, the muddy floor of ocean plains, and the vents, seeps and chemically-driven ecosystems found on the margins of mid-ocean ridges and in the deepest ocean trenches.
Each voyage is enormously expensive and challenged by extreme ocean conditions and requirements that have kept the remotest reaches of the sea impenetrable until the Census began in 2000.
While the collective findings are still being analyzed as part of the final Census report to be released in London on October 4, 2010, scientists say patterns of the abundance, distribution and diversity of deep-sea life around the world are already apparent.
Edward Vanden Berghe, who manages the Ocean Biogeographic Information System, the Census' inventory of marine life observations, has compiled records of 5,722 species for which all recorded observations are deeper than 1,000 meters (.62 miles) and 17,650 species for which all recorded observations are deeper than 200 meters, the depth where darkness stops photosynthesis.
Of some 680 specimens of copepods collected on a recent CeDAMar cruise to the southeastern Atlantic, for example, only seven could be identified; 99 percent were new to science. And among hundreds of species of macrofauna - animals about the size of an earthworm - collected in different areas, 50 to 85 percent were unrecognized. Far rarer than new species in the mud is the capture of a new species of sea cucumber, and rarer still a new genus.