21 June 2020 marked the occasion of World Hydrography Day. On that date, the Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project announced the inclusion of 14.5 million square kilometers of new bathymetric data in the latest grid. With this new data, nearly twenty percent of the world’s entire ocean floor, an area twice the size of Australia, was mapped.
Back in 2017, Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project stated that only 6% of the ocean floor was investigated and charted. In just a few short years, the venture outlined 19%, up from 15% of last year.
The endeavor to map the world’s oceans has gathered significant momentum, Seabed 2030 assembling over 100 international organizations in support. Now, the Project has 133 official partners and continues to seek new collaborations. The Chairman of The Nippon Foundation, Mr. Yohei Sasakawa, announced three initiatives that need a further collaborative effort. These include supporting the mapping of unexplored ocean floor areas and collecting data through crowdsourcing.
The maintained addition in data available to map the ocean floor will enable the venture to operate as the leader in delivering a set of data that is freely available for all to use. Seabed 2030, as the title suggests, wants to chart the ocean floor by the end of 2030, and the main focus is human betterment. It aims to empower the world to make policy decisions, use the sustainability of the ocean, and undertake scientific research based on detailed bathymetric information of the Earth’s seabed.
“It’s encouraging to see what working collaboratively, across the globe, can achieve. Seabed 2030 will continue to seek out new partnerships and technological advancements. Everyone has a part to play in contributing to our ocean mapping journey: a journey that will greatly benefit humanity.”Jamie McMichael-Phillips – Seabed 2030 Project Director