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Mid-Atlantic Ridge Ecosystem Project

Project Description
An international exploratory study of the macrofauna of the northern mid-Atlantic Ocean including the processes that control their distribution and community structures in the waters around the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

The MAR-ECO Project is part of a ten-year global programme to explore the world's oceans entitled, the Census of Marine Life. MAR-ECO aims to describe and understand the patterns of distribution, abundance and the trophic relationships among the organisms inhabiting the waters over and around the mid-Atlantic Ridge. It also aims to identify and model the ecological processes that cause variability in these patterns. The project will chiefly focus on fish, crustaceans, cephalopods, and gelatinous plankton and other actively swimming organisms, but there will also be some focus on top predators such as seabirds and cetaceans, which interact with the more surface environment.

The project also aims to share the results of the research exploration with the general public and has begun public outreach initiatives including a web site, school project, ship-to-shore communication, documentary film, video shorts, exhibition ideas and a book project. A well-known Norwegian artist has expressed interest in participating in the project, which gives it a unique interdisciplinary art/science dimension.

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