XL Catlin is sponsoring a new scientific survey to research Earth’s least explored and vital ecosystem – the deep ocean – to create a new standardised methodology for marine biologists.
The XL Catlin Deep Ocean Survey is a multidisciplinary scientific research programme aimed at creating a new standardised methodology for marine biologists to measure physical, chemical and biological indicators to assess the function, health and resilience of the deep ocean.
Deep ocean exploration firm Nekton is delivering the study in partnership with XL Catlin and a group of ocean scientists, media organisations, business leaders, philanthropists, academics and civil leaders.
This is the third ocean-focused programme supported by XL Catlin, following the Catlin Arctic Survey and the XL Catlin Seaview Survey that continues to explore and document the world’s coral reefs.
Paul Jardine, chief experience officer at XL Catlin, said: “As a re/insurance company there is an immediate need to accelerate our knowledge of how the oceans are changing. We need to understand the risks that businesses, society and ecosystems will face in future.”
Manned submersibles and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) will be used to explore the least known parts of the planet.
The study has committed to make the data freely available for scientists to use.
Mike Maran, chief science officer at XL Catlin, said: “The oceans play a vital role in regulating our climate and controlling weather patterns. They underpin the health of our planet and yet we have little scientific data about the ocean as a driver of change.
“To manage risk effectively we must fully understand it, and at XL Catlin we’re committed to actively learning more about the risks that affect our future. This Survey helps us all expand our knowledge of the importance the oceans play on our daily lives.”
Alex Rogers, Nekton’s principal scientist and professor of conservation biology at the University of Oxford's Zoology department, said: “By working together we will develop a better understanding of ocean health, but to achieve that we need a common scientific approach.
“The XL Catlin Deep Ocean Survey will create the first standardised methodology for marine biologists across the world to build on.”
Oliver Steeds, Nekton’s mission director, said: “We are excited to be heading to the last, great frontier on Earth. The technology available today now makes it possible for us to discover so much more. We’re hoping to help accelerate our understanding of how the ocean is changing and its implications for humanity.”
Chip Cunliffe, director of environmental science programmes and education at XL Catlin, said: “The legacy of our ocean science research is for children to understand how important the oceans are to us.
“Using exploration and real science in action, we hope to be able to create a more ocean-literate generation and engage even more people around the world than the 3.5m we have done so far,” he added.