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The University of Southampton

New Support for Deep-Ocean Stewardship

Published: 26 September 2017
Illustration of under sea ecosystem
Five vulnerable deep-ocean ecosystems. Credit: Tanya Young (

Vital efforts to safeguard the deep ocean around the world have been supported by a major grant.

The Deep-Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI) has received £400,000 from Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. The grant will enable DOSI to enhance the provision of expert scientific input to ocean policy development processes that are crafting rules that will define humankind’s relationship with the deep sea for future decades.

The DOSI secretariat is based at the University of Southampton and will be partially supported by the Arcadia Fund for the next 5 years with this award. The Initiative gratefully acknowledges this opportunity to strengthen activities that advance biodiversity conservation and supports open access to scientific information.

Dr Maria Baker, Senior Research Fellow in Ocean and Earth Science and Co-Lead of DOSI said: "We are delighted that Arcadia have given this opportunity to strengthen our deep-ocean stewardship activities and enable open access to scientific information. DOSI’s international linkages and proven track record of policy engagement make DOSI uniquely able to provide independent deep-sea scientific input to international deliberations in order to shape and seize a historic opportunity to safeguard biodiversity in the 64% of the global ocean that lies beyond national boundaries.”

As an interdisciplinary network of >500 experts from 45 countries dedicated to maintaining the integrity and functions of deep-ocean ecosystems, DOSI provides a unique platform for deep-sea science-policy engagement. With this support from Arcadia, DOSI will provide independent scientific input to historic negotiations under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea for the development of a new treaty for biodiversity conservation in the  nearly two-thirds of the global ocean that lies in areas beyond national jurisdiction. DOSI will also contribute to the development of deep-sea mining environmental regulations under the auspices of the International Seabed Authority.

Through its international collaboration network, DOSI will promote ecosystem-based management, elevate capacity to improve stewardship of the deep ocean on the basis of the best available science, and increase international cooperation to develop and deploy new technologies to observe and monitor global ocean health. This new funding will also enhance DOSI’s activities to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and international climate change deliberations.

Founded by Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, Arcadia supports charities and scholarly institutions that preserve endangered culture and nature, and promote open access.  

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