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The Census for Antarctic Marine Life (CAML, IPY Project 53) aimed to investigate the distribution and abundance of Antarctic marine biodiversity and how it will be affected by climate change. It was a major ship-based research programme in the austral summer of 2007–2008 involving scientists from 30 countries and 19 vessels. The Collaborative East Antarctic Marine Census (CEAMARC) was a multinational contribution to CAML involving scientists and students from several nations using three ships from Australia, Japan and France surveying the one area. This collaboration was a highly coordinated and comprehensive survey of the plankton, fish, benthos, oceanography and geophysical conditions of the waters north of Terre Adélie and George V Land of Eastern Antarctica. CEAMARC has provided a robust benchmark of the marine life in this poorly studied sector and will help to establish the monitoring of future changes in this region.