Southern seas

As part of International Polar Year which took place between 2007 and 2008, the CAML (Census of Antarctic Marine Life), a census and study programme for marine biodiversity in Antarctica, united scientists from all over the world by launching the CEAMARC programme.

The mission

Under its Evolution and Biodiversity in Antarctica programme (EBA), the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) proposed that one international coordination action on marine life in Antarctica, Census of Antarctic Marine Life (CAML), be one of the priority activities during International Polar Year (2007-2009).

In late 2007- early 2008, three ships made their contribution to the CAML by working in the East Antarctic sector: the Aurora Australis (Australia), the Umitaka Maru (Japan) and the Astrolabe (France). Seventeen French scientists from the Muséum took part in this programme.


Below 200 metres in depth, little is still known of the biodiversity of fish and benthic marine wildlife. Fresh data have been provided by exploring it and comparing it with other sectors of the Southern Ocean. Using the resources on the Aurora Australis, the scientists were able to explore the diversity of fish (Notothenioidae, Liparidae, Zoarcidae and Chondrichthyes) and benthic organisms.