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Introduction

The 2022 Global Deep-Sea Capacity Assessment is a benchmark for understanding local capacity in 186 countries and territories worldwide to explore and research the deep-sea environment over the next decade and beyond.

Published onSep 12, 2022
Introduction

The 2022 Global Deep-Sea Capacity Assessment offers a deep dive into the human and technical capacity for deep-sea exploration and research found in every coastal area with deep ocean (deeper than 200 m). To our knowledge, it is the most comprehensive global assessment of deep-sea capabilities ever conducted and will allow measurement of the evolution of local capacity in 186 countries and territories to explore, research, and protect the deep-sea environment over the next decade and beyond.

"It is the most comprehensive global assessment of deep-sea capabilities ever conducted and will allow measurement of the evolution of local capacity in 186 countries and territories to explore, research, and protect the deep-sea environment over the next decade and beyond." --Dr. Maud Quinzin, Capacity Assessment Project Manager, Ocean Discovery League, Belgium


The Executive Summary and Key Findings highlight the top-level results from the full report. In the preface, deep-sea explorer Dr. Katy Croff Bell shares the motivation for an assessment of global deep-sea capacity as a benchmark for understanding the current state of deep-sea technical and human capacity worldwide. 

This is followed by forewords sharing the perspectives of three prominent ocean advocates. Marine conservationist Jacqueline Evans tackles why capacity assessment is critical for managing the cumulative impacts of deep-ocean resource development, particularly for South Pacific Islanders. Seychellois early-career scientist Sheena Talma addresses the challenge of equitable and inclusive deep-sea science, which can only be achieved once we understand the capacity gaps and take grassroots action to address these gaps. Finally, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean Ambassador Peter Thomson focuses on the challenge of inequitable global access to deep-ocean technological and financial resources, resulting in the current deficiencies in knowledge and governance.

In the next section, we provide high-level summaries and full results at the Global level, followed by summaries and full results of each region: Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania. These sections present overviews of and detailed findings related to organizational infrastructure, technical capacity, survey respondents’ perspectives on accessibility to deep-sea tools, satisfaction with those tools, and the most significant deep-sea challenges and opportunities each region faces. 

In conclusion, we look Toward an Equitable Deep-sea Future, where we highlight opportunities to increase deep-sea exploration and research capacity worldwide.

In the Methods, we describe our approach to Data Collection and Analysis presented in this report, including the online Survey questions and manual Research Protocols.

Finally, we present a series of Annexes, including the list of Authors & Contributors, our grateful Acknowledgements of the global team who made this assessment possible, and References

In addition, we also provide links to pages where readers can find information on: the Global Deep-Sea Capacity Assessment Team, accessing survey and research Data, Media & Downloads, and Feedback & Errata for readers to submit comments and corrections.

We are excited to share this landmark report with the ocean community and look forward to working with you in the critical effort to enable the opportunities identified here in the 2022 Global Deep-Sea Capacity Assessment.

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