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Scientists seek to unlock mysteries of the deep

WASHINGTON (AP) Researchers are releasing their latest update of an ambitious census of Earth's sea creatures.

About 2,000 researchers from 80 countries are taking part in the effort. The census is getting support from world governments and the United Nations, as well as private conservation groups.

A researcher says there are nearly 16,000 known species of marine fish and 70,000 kinds of marine mammals. A couple thousand have been discovered while the census was under way.

The findings stretch from deep below the Antarctic ice to the waters off New Jersey, where 20 million fish were found swarming in a school the size of Manhattan.

As one Sloan Foundation scientist put it: Sea animals find ways "to make a living just about everywhere."

The international study is scheduled for final publication in 2010.
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