There are several tactics for counting fish or other marine species in a given area of water. In august of 2010, scientists combined many of these tactics to estimate that there are at least 230,000 species in our ocean, including estimates of undiscovered species not yet seen. To collect data worldwide they looked at trawl surveys from the fishing industry in several different areas around the world. In clear waters, they can have divers conduct a simple visual survey where they count how many fish they see in front of them. They also will use a sifter, or sieve, to collect data at the ocean floor and through the mud. They also can gather information on species with tracking tags, like they do with tuna and many other species, which can also help determine their populations. After gathering information in several certain small areas, scientists then will be able to estimate what the remaining waters look like, and come up with a very educated estimate.
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