1997 Update

Reprinted from InterRidge News 6.1 (Mar. 1997)

by Lauren S. Mullineaux, Chair
Progress on Recommendations Made by the 1995 InterRidge Biological Studies Workshop

Last year, Daniel Desbruyères asked me to take the position of Chair of the InterRidge Biological Studies Ad Hoc Committee. Daniel has done a wonderful job in this position, coordinating international biology efforts, and I hope to continue in his energetic and sensible tradition. Because the InterRidge Steering Committee met recently (last September), this is a good opportunity to update members of the community on progress on the recommendations from the April 1995 InterRidge workshop at Rutgers University. Many of the following projects have been completed, or are nearing completion; others have been more problematic, with less progress.

Species Identification Manual- This manual, compiled by Daniel Desbruyères, has been completed and is ready for publication. InterRidge and IFREMER are in the process of investigating options for publication and distribution.

International Vent Biology Symposium- This symposium is scheduled for 20th - 24th October 1997. Over a hundred people have already expressed an interest in attending.

Ridge Crest Biology Directory and the International Listing of Seagoing Capabilities- are now both available. New or updated directory entries are always welcomed by the InterRidge Office. (Note (July, 1998): The former electronic directory and the ridge crest biology directory have been replaced by one fully searchable database, which has eliminated the need for a separate directory for biologists).

Data Exchange- Biocean-H- This database continues to be developed by IFREMER.

International Sample Exchange Agreement- Copies of a draft international sample exchange agreement were sent out for comments to the National Correspondents of all InterRidge nations. The InterRidge Office did not receive any feedback, possibly because most of the National Correspondents are geologists and were not sure how to evaluate the agreement. The InterRidge Steering Committee has decided to revise the agreement and send it instead to National Corresponding Curators (i.e. those individuals who have agreed to receive and process samples).

Demarcation of Sanctuaries and Definition of Collection Areas- No action has been taken on this issue, but the InterRidge Steering Committee plans to write a letter to EOS (Transactions of the American Geophysical Union) aimed at provoking a response within the community to the issue of experimental seafloor sanctuaries.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact me or the InterRidge Office, now based in Paris for the duration of Mathilde Cannat's term as InterRidge Chair.