Mapping the oceans: co-ordinating seabed and habitat mapping for maritime spatial planning.
Session ID#: 9526
Globally it is estimated that hydrographic maps are available for only 5% of the world’s oceans, even less of which have been mapped geologically or to identify benthic habitats.
Recent international reports place a value of US$24 trillion on the raw economic value of the global oceans, two thirds of which rely directly on healthy ocean conditions. Maritime planning, sustainable use of marine resources, and forecasting all need good maps, which is now recognised by the growing number of national seabed mapping programmes and initiatives such as the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance launched by the European Union, the USA and Canada when these countries signed the ‘Galway Statement’. This session will investigate the scientific and technological progress in mapping the seabed, addressing bathymetric mapping, which improves the safety of navigation in our seas, geological mapping, which provides detailed knowledge of seabed/subseabed characteristics and identifies marine resources, and habitat mapping which provides essential information for food security and the protection of the most vulnerable seabed communities and ecosystems, to maintain healthy and biologically diverse oceans. The session will also address seabed mapping gaps and challenges as well as data management and access to data and information products.