This sounds similar to the Encyclopedia of Life. In fact, I am not sure why they shouldn't just be merged together.
How many species are there in the sea? Some 230,000 recorded so far, all of which will soon be available to anyone at the click of a mouse.
The Register is freely accessible online and includes descriptions of the species and photos. It will allow both the public and scientists to identify species they come across and easily recognise entirely new species.
Until now censuses have been incomplete, focussing on single species or regions, making proper assessment of the impact of humans on oceans difficult. "Convincing warnings about declining populations of fish and other marine species must rest on a valid census," says Mark Costello of the University of Auckland, co-founder of the World Register.
So far, the catalogue contains 122,000 species, about half the estimated 230,000 known species. It should be complete by 2010.
But there are still millions more ocean species to be discovered. Meeting in Belgium on 20-21 June, marine taxonomists discussed Grassle's estimate of between 1 and 10 million total marine species.
I think this is a good idea, and I wish them the best on cataloging and counting all the known and unknown species.
via New Scientist