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Marine life experts launch data bank on marine species


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

OOSTENDE An international project has been launched to uniformly record all marine life, plants, fish and other species. The World Register of Marine Species - its acronym is WoRMS - will start cataloguing all 230,000 known species, estimated to represent about half of the total. Marine life experts long faced the problem of proper identification. How could a species be called new if no data bank existed which could be consulted for verification purposes? One such species was discovered 56 times since 1766. Others were registered multiple times under different names. The project could still take hundreds of years to complete if current speed is maintained. Marine life experts wonder why others search for life on Mars while the seas have not yet been explored fully.