Exploration of the Seas: Voyage into the Unknown (January 2003)Report in Brief
Each year, exiting, ocean-related discoveries are made; however, more research funding is available to scientists that revisit sites as opposed to individuals that want to explore poorly understood regions. A new program, where opportunities exist to investigate unexplored areas of the ocean, is needed to facilitate rapid discovery and implementation of previously unknown information. This report argues that a new large-scale, multidisciplinary ocean exploration program would increase the pace of discovery of new species, ecosystems, energy sources, seafloor features, pharmaceutical products, and artifacts, as well as improve understanding of the role oceans play in climate change. It recommends that such a program should be run by a nonfederal organization and should encourage international participation.