Welcome to CenSeam: a Global Census of Marine Life on Seamounts

The Census of Marine Life field programme on seamounts (CenSeam) commenced in 2005 and ran to 2010; ending with the close of the first Census of Marine Life

Seamounts (undersea mountains) are prominent features of the world's underwater topography. Globally, there are estimated to be over 30,000 seamounts rising 1000m or more from the seafloor, and more than 100,000 smaller features (see Yesson et al. 2011). Seamounts can be hotspots of biodiversity and may be extremely valuable; not only ecologically but also economically as they are the target of offshore commercial fishing, and are of potential interest for seabed mining.

At the outset of CenSeam, our understanding of seamount ecosystems was hampered by significant gaps in global sampling, a variety of approaches and sampling methods, and a lack of large-scale synthesis; scientific attention not yet consistent with their potential biological and ecological value. CenSeam aimed to (1) synthesize and analyze existing data (2) co-ordinate and expand existing and planned research (3) communicate the findings through public education and outreach and (4) identify priority areas for research, and foster scientific expeditions to these regions. 

This website is an archive of the CenSeam programme (2005 – 2010) for the seamount research community and the general public. 

The Census of Marine Life field programme on seamounts (CenSeam) commenced in 2005 and ran to 2010; ending with the close of the first Census of Marine Life. 
Seamounts (undersea mountains) are prominent features of the world's underwater topography. Globally, there are estimated to be over 100 000 seamounts rising 1000m or more from the seafloor, and many more smaller features. Seamounts can be hotspots of biodiversity and may be extremely valuable; not only ecologically but also economically as they are the target of offshore commercial fishing, and are of potential interest for seabed mining.
At the outset of CenSeam, our understanding of seamount ecosystems was hampered by significant gaps in global sampling, a variety of approaches and sampling methods, and a lack of large-scale synthesis; scientific attention not yet consistent with their potential biological and ecological value. 
CenSeam aimed to (1) synthesize and analyze existing data (2) co-ordinate and expand existing and planned research (3) communicate the findings through public education and outreach and (4) identify priority areas for research, and foster scientific expeditions to these regions. 
This website is intended as an archive of the CenSeam programme (2005 – 2010) as well as a current resource for the seamount research community and the general public. 

Brothers seamount New Zealand (NIWA)