The program should include development of new tools, probes, sensors, and systems for multidisciplinary ocean exploration. New technologies have been key to past advances in ocean science. Examples include the development of a scalar magnetometer leading to the confirmation of plate tectonics or the development of submersibles allowing the discovery of unimagined deep sea communities. Technology development should be an integral part of the program.

The program should standardize sampling, data management, and dissemination to maximize the impact for research, commercial, regulatory, and educational benefits. Freedom of access to data is essential for fostering innovation and conversion of the exploration investment into scientific discoveries, commercial products, and the development of sound ocean policy. Data should be collected following standard sampling procedures, and should be publicly available in real time, insofar as possible. (Commercial investment may require restrictions to protect proprietary data and to foster development of discoveries, but such cases should be regarded as exceptions.)

The program should seek to discover new living and non-living resources in the ocean. Responsible exploitation of the genetic diversity of life in the ocean, of new and existing fisheries, and of the minerals in the ocean floor requires a thorough understanding of these resources and their variability over time.

BENEFITS TO THE UNITED STATES FROM INITIATING AN INTERNATIONAL OCEAN EXPLORATION PROGRAM

No single nation has the financial, intellectual, and technological capacity to undertake a comprehensive ocean exploration program alone. Hence, there is value in undertaking a collaborative, international effort in global ocean exploration.

Nearly 100 representatives from 20 different nations met in Paris in March 2002 (Appendix D) to discuss their respective interests in ocean exploration. As a result, two facts became clear:

  1. A number of countries have the funding and ocean-going capabilities to justify partnership in a truly global ocean exploration program.

  2. A much larger group of nations have high levels of interest in exploration within their own territorial waters and neighboring ocean basins. A number of these countries are strategically located with respect to the most unexplored areas of the global ocean, such as the Arctic and Southern Oceans.

Based on past experience, an enhanced ocean exploration program will result in discoveries and observations that push the edge of our knowledge forward in great leaps.

Locating relics of the maritime past can help us piece together portions of our history and improve the understanding of our heritage.

Creation of detailed maps, both within and outside our EEZ, can aid in creating



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Exploration of the Seas: Interim Report The program should include development of new tools, probes, sensors, and systems for multidisciplinary ocean exploration. New technologies have been key to past advances in ocean science. Examples include the development of a scalar magnetometer leading to the confirmation of plate tectonics or the development of submersibles allowing the discovery of unimagined deep sea communities. Technology development should be an integral part of the program. The program should standardize sampling, data management, and dissemination to maximize the impact for research, commercial, regulatory, and educational benefits. Freedom of access to data is essential for fostering innovation and conversion of the exploration investment into scientific discoveries, commercial products, and the development of sound ocean policy. Data should be collected following standard sampling procedures, and should be publicly available in real time, insofar as possible. (Commercial investment may require restrictions to protect proprietary data and to foster development of discoveries, but such cases should be regarded as exceptions.) The program should seek to discover new living and non-living resources in the ocean. Responsible exploitation of the genetic diversity of life in the ocean, of new and existing fisheries, and of the minerals in the ocean floor requires a thorough understanding of these resources and their variability over time. BENEFITS TO THE UNITED STATES FROM INITIATING AN INTERNATIONAL OCEAN EXPLORATION PROGRAM No single nation has the financial, intellectual, and technological capacity to undertake a comprehensive ocean exploration program alone. Hence, there is value in undertaking a collaborative, international effort in global ocean exploration. Nearly 100 representatives from 20 different nations met in Paris in March 2002 (Appendix D) to discuss their respective interests in ocean exploration. As a result, two facts became clear: A number of countries have the funding and ocean-going capabilities to justify partnership in a truly global ocean exploration program. A much larger group of nations have high levels of interest in exploration within their own territorial waters and neighboring ocean basins. A number of these countries are strategically located with respect to the most unexplored areas of the global ocean, such as the Arctic and Southern Oceans. Based on past experience, an enhanced ocean exploration program will result in discoveries and observations that push the edge of our knowledge forward in great leaps. Locating relics of the maritime past can help us piece together portions of our history and improve the understanding of our heritage. Creation of detailed maps, both within and outside our EEZ, can aid in creating