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SCOR Working Group 118: New Technologies for Observing Marine Life

  2000, Canada
  2001, Argentina
  2002, Peru
General Information
Terms of Reference
Working Group Members
Front Page

Census of Marine Life logo
Funding provided by
the SLOAN Foundation's
Census of Marine Life
(CoML) initiative

Terms of Reference

1. To identify and bring to the attention of the international community of fisheries scientists, marine biologists and others, the potential benefits of emerging technologies in the detection of marine life.

The Committee would meet on an annual basis, but the meetings would be open to the larger community of scientists and encourage their input. The working group would be concerned with technologies applicable to the range of marine life extending from zoo-plankton to whales. In this sense there will be a close link between the goals of the Working Group and those of the Census of Marine Life.

2. To explore the relative merits of different technologies and identify those that deserve further research based on their potential for making significant contributions to the detection of marine life.

The discussions would focus on the possibilities and practicalities, both technical and economic, of these technologies. Of particular interest would be those techniques that are either already available in a developmental form, or which are within a very few years (5-8) of becoming so. We also identify here a particular interest in those technologies applicable to larger or synoptic scale distributions, while recognizing that the key scientific issues relating to these distributions can, and often should be studied on small scales. We believe the working group's impact will be substantial, especially if it is widely publicized, draws in participants from many countries (especially including the less developed world where some of the richest and most diverse marine life occurs) and leads to a report that will be widely disseminated. The underlying interest of the Census of Marine Life in the working group's activity can only increase the chances of success.

3. To prepare a summary of the results of the Working Group's discussion so as to make it as widely available as possible.

Involvement of the larger community of marine biologists and fisheries scientists is recognized as being essential to the success of the working group. This can be achieved by inviting interested members of the community to the SCOR meetings, by maintaining a web page describing the groups activities and by publication of the results of the working group's deliberations. While the precise form of publication must be decided by the group itself, possibilities include a book with different chapters contributed by various working group members, a special issue of a journal or a major conference proceedings. This report would be in the spirit of discussions begun at the Scripps conference, evaluating the broad range of possibilities, highlighting particular technologies that would lead to rapid application and areas that would be especially worthy of investment.