japan Census Reveals that Japanese and Australian Waters, Hiding Secrets

The area of the census ranges from Japanese to Australian waters.

Japan along with Australia have some of the world’s most diverse oceans, however thousands of the marvelous creatures in their deeps, remain unknown to man, and global warming is a major concern, suggests a newly performed census.

Both Japan and Australia are the proud owners of 33,000 some odd known species, according to a decade long scientific survey of the life in the sea, aptly dubbed “What lives in the Sea”.

However, there could be more than 200,000 species in the vast waters of Australia, which are surrounded by three oceans and four seas, which extend from the icy southern pole, to the coral-rich tropics.

“This constitutes a vast array of highly diverse habitats and ocean features, but many have received limited if any exploration,”
wrote Alan Butler, from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, who is the lead author of the work.

The majority of the 33,000 species which were noted for Australia were animals, including fish, seabirds and of course marine mammals, with an astonishing rate of new fish and shark species being found on a continuing basis. Butler has guessed that only about 20 percent of Australia’s total marine species have been discovered to date.

Life was most densely populated in the northeast, which is where the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef makes its home, and is cock full of turtles, colorful corals, dolphins and dugongs.

“Australia is of tremendous ecological interest,” explained Jessie Ausubel, a representative for the marine census. “It is advanced in creating protected marine areas, around coral reefs but also around its deep-sea areas.”

A representative of Japan’s Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Katsunori Fujikura, has commented that somewhere in the vicinity of 155,000 species have been spotted in the waters surrounding Japan, which only accounts for a mere 30 percent of all estimated life, and only 33,000 have been officially recorded on the books.

“The reason why such high diversity occurs is undoubtedly the varied environments existing in Japanese waters,”
explained Fujikura.

Japan’s waters are just about 11 times larger than the land area, and they feature coral reefs, ince bound seas and trenches (which can be up to 10 kilometers deep). The strong ocean currents in the area, mean that roughly 5 percent of the species found there are actually unique to Japanese waters.

By contrast, 19 percent of New Zealand’s 17,000 marine species are found only around the isolated island state, and Antarctica’s Southern Ocean also hosts many species not found anywhere else.

“Most species in the Southern Ocean are rare, with over half of the known benthic (sea-bed) species having only been found once or twice,” explainedHuw Griffiths, a report author, from the British Antarctic Survey.

The extremely remote, and even hostile, Antarctic region is the home to 8,000 some odd recorded species, with sponges, small crustaceans, and moss animals richly represented.

However, over 90 percent of the marine environment is over one kilometer below the waves, and less thn 10 percent of the total deep-sea area has been explored, “implying there are still a great many species yet to be described” Griffiths explained.