Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 12 Issue 03

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Volume 12, No. 3
Pages 19 - 20

Assessing the Global Distribution and Abundance of Marine Organisms

David L. Bradley
First Paragraph

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Office of Naval Research sponsored a workshop in Monterey, California in January 1998, to discuss the value, timeliness, and feasibility of stimulating and organizing a period of intense, comprehensive oceanic observation whose purpose would be to assess and explain the global distribution and abundance of marine life, with emphasis on higher trophic levels. The meeting was organized by the Ocean Studies Board of the National Research Council and included a broad suite of ecologists, oceanographers, fisheries scientists, and modelers. A global assessment of marine life would aid in predicting the causes of ecosystem change and resulting consequences to fisheries, trophic structure, species interactions, and the population and community dynamics of marine systems. Several possible goals of a global assessment program were discussed including determine the biomass of the marine biota, especially the higher trophic levels, determine how this biomass is distributed spatially and by size and taxon, and investigate how these distributions are maintained or changed.


Bradley, D.L. 1999. Assessing the global distribution and abundance of marine organisms. Oceanography 12(3):19–20, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.1999.05.