Census of Marine Life (CoML) is an exploration of biomass and biodiversity. The Remote Species Identification (RSID) workshop concentrated on the latter category by exploring potential technologies to detect and identify marine species without capturing the organism (Table 1). Why is species identification important? Identifying new organisms (assuming they are related to known forms) gives us information about likely evolution, ecology, and physiology. If mapped, (e.g. species distribution) species identification allows us to track range alteration, introduction and extinction, the currency of biodiversity change/loss. If quantified, (e.g. species abundance) identification allows us to track biomass-biodiversity relationships which change as a result of both natural and anthropogenic forces. With regard to marine systems, RSID is useful because large tracts of ocean are inadequately sampled, because it is technically too difficult and/or financially impossible to do so.