Japan Boasts Top Number Of world's Sea Life

In a historic roll call of the ocean, a scientific study has found about 33,629 kinds of sea creatures in the waters surrounding Japan--the widest diversity of species in 25 oceanic regions.

The Census of Marine Life a group of about 360 researchers from 13 nations and regions released the results Tuesday, which were compiled from a database on sea creatures based on information obtained during the review. It recognized the survival of about 230,000 kinds of sea creatures.

Although the waters nearby Japan account for just 1 percent of the world's oceans, about 15 percent of all sea creature species live there. Among them, mollusks, including snails, squid and octopi, marked the main number with 8,658 species; arthropods, including crustaceans such as crabs and prawns, followed with 6,393 species recorded.

"The high diversity Japanese sea creature life can be traced to the various environments existing in Japanese waters--from Hokkaido where ice floes come adrift in winter to Okinawa Prefecture where coral reefs grow," said Katsunori Fujikura, an investigator at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology. Bookmark and Share