From discussions about involving the dive community, to programmes helping school children become citizen scientists, it was a rare face-to-face opportunity for optimistic and determined specialists to spark ideas together.
During his opening speech, Chairman of The Nippon Foundation, Yohei Sasakawa, spoke of his love of the ocean, first inspired as a child when he read Jules Verne, turned into practical reality through projects like Ocean Census. He was keen to emphasise why partnership are so vital at this stage:
“We have a race against time to discover ocean life before it is lost for generations to come…we would like to unravel the mysteries of the ocean” but that this “cannot be accomplished by the Nippon Foundation and Nekton alone.”
Ultimately, it was a day for optimism, as this huge new endeavour begins. Dr Jyotika Virmani, Executive Director of Schmidt Ocean Institute, was upbeat as she talked about the need for “education and communicating the wonders that are under the ocean to the public”, as one of the key pillars of success for Ocean Census.