Renewed vigour

It’s been an eventful year for Seabed 2030.

We’re delighted to have participated in a whole host of events, spanning across the globe, meeting long-standing supporters and forging new alliances in support of the global mission of a complete map of the ocean floor.

This year we also celebrated the 120th anniversary of the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO). For over a century now GEBCO has pioneered ocean exploration and mapping, becoming the definitive reference map for scientists, hydrographers and ocean explorers alike.

The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project was launched six years ago to act as a catalyst to GEBCO’s enduring endeavour.

In this time, we have entered into partnerships with over 50 organisations. These, together with a large number of other data contributors, have been instrumental in seeing the total percentage of the seabed mapped increase to just under a quarter – a feat that would not be possible without collaborative working on an international scale, coupled with the steadfast support of our parent organisations.

As a testament to realising the ambitious, yet necessary, goal of inspiring the complete mapping of the ocean floor, Seabed 2030 also underwent a major rebrand this year. In addition to our new logo, we were pleased to roll out the new Seabed 2030 website, which I hope will prove to be a valuable resource hub containing the latest developments and news updates pertaining to the project.

More recently, we were excited to launch the official Seabed 2030 podcast – Revealing Hidden Depths. Each month the podcast provides updates about the project, dives into interviews with members of the ocean community, and explores the various innovative technologies and methods being used to obtain bathymetric data.

As we come close to entering a new year, we are excited to build on this momentum and there is already much to look forward to, including the inaugural conference of the Ocean Decade, of which Seabed 2030 is a flagship programme.

The recent COP28 conference once again puts the ocean – the planet’s life-support – on the global stage. The Ocean Pavilion, in particular, focused attention on the importance of a healthy and sustainable ocean, for all of us.

It’s imperative that this global commitment to safeguarding the ocean is emboldened as we edge closer to the end of the decade. The clock is ticking, and there is still much to be done – but this vital mission is one that can be realised with a united international community.

Jamie McMichael-Phillips

Seabed 2030 Project Director

Read the latest edition here.


Image credit: Matt Hardy