World Ocean Census A Global Survey of Marine Life

ISBN-10: 1554074347

ISBN-13: 9781554074341

Edition: 2009

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Book details

List price: $40.00
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
Publication date: 9/17/2009
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 256
Size: 9.50" wide x 11.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 3.278
Language: English

Sylvia Earle can lay claim to the titles marine botanist, environmentalist, businesswoman, writer, and deep-sea explorer. Of them all, the last is perhaps the one that most captures the imagination. She has spent more than 6,000 hours (over seven months) underwater. In 1979, she attached herself to a submarine that took her, at times as fast as 100 feet per minute, to the ocean floor 1,250 feet below. Dressed in a "Jim suit," a futuristic concoction of plastic and metal armor, she made the deepest solo dive ever made without a cable connecting her to a support vessel at the surface. This daring dive is comparable to the NASA voyage to the moon 10 years before. In 1984 Earle became the co-designer (with Graham Hawkes) of Deep Rover, a deep-sea submersible capable of exploring the midwaters of the ocean. Their company, Deep Ocean Technology, went on to develop a second-generation submersible, Deep Flight, that can speed through the ocean at depths of as much as 4,000 feet. Currently under development is Ocean Everest, expected to operate at a depth of up to 35,800 feet, which will take scientists to the deepest parts of the sea. Although the uses of submersibles are still largely scientific, Earle hopes that they might one day transport laypeople to the bottom of the sea. She feels that the "experience of flying through a dark ocean, of watching the lights of a luminescent creature flash all around us" might help us gain more respect for the largely unexplored ocean world. In addition to the scientific work that led to her being appointed in 1990 as chief scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Earle has worked tirelessly to educate the public. Working with Al Giddings, she coauthored a documentary film, Gentle Giants of the Pacific, which appeared on public television in 1980. In the same year, their book Exploring the Deep Frontier appeared. It includes a discussion of the "Jim dive." Her most recent scientific and environmental work has been to assess the environmental damage caused by the Prince William Sound oil spill and the results of Iraq's destruction of some 400 oil wells during the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

Acknowledgments
Foreword
Introduction
What Lived in the Ocean?
The Known, the Unknown and the Unknowable
The Great Unknown
The Census of Marine Life
Painting a Picture of the Past
What Once Lived in the Ocean
Records of Decline
In Quest of a Zero-Year Baseline
Managing the Fisheries
Charting a New Course of Study
What Lives in the Ocean?
Expanding the Use of Technology
Reaching the Research Sites
Using Sound to "See" Under Water
Advances in Optical Technology
Collecting Specimens
Studying the Movements of Marine Life
Identifying the Collected Species
Census Data Available to the World
Animals as Ocean Observers
Developments in Tagging
Facing Extremes
Disappearing Ice Oceans
Uncovering Hidden Oceans
Surprises in the Southern Ocean
Opening Windows of Knowledge
Unexpected Diversity at the Edges of the Sea
Coral Reefs in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands
The Gulf of Maine: Past and Present
A New Habitat for Alaska
The Way Forward
Unexplored Ecosystems: Vents, Seeps, Seamounts and Abyssal Plains
Hydrothermal Vents
Continental Margins and Cold-Water Seeps
Seamounts
Abyssal Plains
Unraveling the Mystery of New Life-Forms
The Name Game
Identifying the Drifters
Where No One Has Gone Before
A Window Below the Ice
Eyes and Ears in the Deep
Visualizing the Invisible
Looking Ahead
What Will Live in the Ocean?
Forecasting the Future
The Demise of the Great Sharks
Changes in Fisheries Practice Help Whales
The Path Forward
The Census Has Made a Difference
Glossary
Further Reading
Photo Credits
Index
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