Recognising the importance of a wholly mapped ocean to climate change mitigation, ocean and coastal resilience and a sustainable blue economy, Fugro has been leading private-sector support for The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project (Seabed 2030) since its early planning stages.
At the launch of Seabed 2030 in 2017, the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO) estimated that only 6 % of the world’s oceans were mapped using modern technologies. Today that figure stands at 23.4 % with steady growth projected in the coming years. Fugro’s support for the Seabed 2030 is largely focused on private‑sector contributions, starting with our own.
In-transit bathymetry programme
In 2017, we devised a method for collecting high-resolution bathymetry datasets from our survey vessels as they transit between survey projects. This 'in-transit' approach leveraged two of Fugro's earliest remote technologies, Fugro OARS® and Fugro Back2Base®, allowing us to acquire and transmit valuable seafloor mapping information without dedicated survey crew onboard the vessels. This approach has allowed Fugro survey vessels to collect more than 2 million km2 of bathymetry for Seabed 2030 with minimal cost and impact to our normal operations. Combined, this data coverage is roughly equivalent to the size of Mexico!
Client contributions/data sharing
Along with our own data contributions, we’re working with our clients to investigate how their existing or planned datasets can be incorporated into the Seabed 2030 programme, including datasets with sensitive information. Reducing the data resolution to a suitable degree and/or delaying the release of datasets until an acceptable amount of time has passed can mitigate these sensitivities and ensure the integrity of client-owned data.
Ocean Decade Data Corporate Group
Seabed 2030 is now an officially endorsed Action of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (Ocean Decade). Fugro is helping to lead an Ocean Decade Corporate Data Group under our partnership agreement with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (IOC-UNESCO). This work will also fully support and benefit Seabed 2030 in terms of bathymetric contributions from the private sector.