The Ocean Census is a global alliance aimed at discovering and documenting 100,000 unknown species in the next ten years by leveraging new technologies like high-resolution underwater imaging, machine learning, and DNA sequencing from seawater. The project, led by Nekton, a UK-based marine science and conservation institute, is funded by the Nippon Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Japan. Through this project, scientists hope to better understand the deep-sea ecosystem and protect it from environmental harm. The 2010 Census of Marine Life identified 6,000 potential new ocean species, but there is still a significant gap in our knowledge of the ocean’s depths. Out of the estimated 2.2 million species believed to exist in the world’s oceans, only 240,000 have been described by scientists.

The Ocean Census uses new technologies, such as underwater laser scanning, to study gelatinous creatures like jellyfish in their natural habitat. Scientists can now more easily study sea creatures in their natural environment and accurately describe new species post-discovery. The project will use easy methods to collect DNA from water to find and follow different species. All living things release their DNA into the environment, including humans. The project will use this to identify and track new species. Overall, the Ocean Census is expected to help us learn a lot more about the oceans and the creatures that live in them.