First Descent

On our forthcoming missions with the Maldives and onto the High Seas in the Western Indian Ocean, we are planning on pushing the boundaries of live transmission far further.

Telepresence has been used for many years with remotely operated vehicles to allow scientists to join the live exploration of the ocean simultaneously from their institutes and laboratories around the world. We can now do this with submersibles and combine the human presence in the deep sea to engage and empower far greater scientific and public involvement in these journeys of discovery.

As we are all aware, the ocean is experiencing radical, rapid and transformative change. From a data perspective, governments, academia, industry and civil society organisations need access to ocean data that is current and applicable to inform more rapid decision on the sustainable governance and management of the ocean.

Currently, the majority of marine data is gathered during complex marine research cruises or through remote sensing, ocean observing systems and the use of other data collection systems. The analysis of the data can then take many months, or more often years, before being published.

By that point, the data may be less relevant and with less application. This is the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and one of the key challenges the marine research, ocean management and conservation communities must address is to find innovative ways to accelerate the analysis and publication of ocean data to address global needs.