- Living specimens of Neoglyphea neocaledonica, aka the "Jurassic shrimp", a species that was believed to have become extinct 50m years ago, were found on an underwater peak in the Coral Sea, north-east of Australia
- A hairy crab that was discovered Near Easter Island that requires its own taxonomic family family. The crab Kiwa hirsuta is named after its own hairiness and the Polynesian goddess of shellfish
- A shoal of eight million fish observed off the New Jersey coast that was bigger than the area of Manhattan island.
The census was launched in 2001 to map life in the most under-explored environment on earth and uses half of the world's large research vessels and submersibles. Destined to finish in 2010, the £500m project involves 1,700 scientists in 73 countries.
"By 2010 we'll have a representative picture of what lives in the oceans from top to bottom and around the world," said Ron O'Dor, senior scientist on the project. "Everywhere we go we find more life than we'd imagined. When we started there were views that as you went deeper the oceans turned into deserts and there was nothing living down there, but that certainly isn't true."
Two species of fish unknown to science are being discovered each week and scientists believe that they are still far from documenting all the different marine species. Advanced sonar equipment that can map oceanic areas 10,000 times larger than previously possible recently detected a shoal of eight million fish in a school the size of Manhattan off the coast of New Jersey. Images of the shoal revealed it pulsating, fragmenting and reforming as the fish moved through the water.
When the census is completed it will form a snapshot of ocean life that scientists will use as a reference to monitor the impact of the fishing industry and environmental change, such as global warming.