Workshop on Enhancing Biological Data Sharing to Advance Deep-Sea Taxonomy

3 Oct 2023 - 6 Oct 2023

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

The International Seabed Authority (ISA) is convening a workshop on Enhancing Biological Data Sharing to Advance Deep-Sea Taxonomy in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, from 3-6 October 2023, in collaboration with the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries of the Republic of Korea (MOF) and the National Marine Biodiversity Institute of Korea (MABIK).

To further enhance the understanding of deep-sea biodiversity, the ISA Sustainable Seabed Knowledge Initiative (SSKI) has designed several actions for improving deep-sea species cataloguing, promoting data sharing, and building capacity on deep-sea taxonomy.

These actions will lead to the generation of an unprecedent amount of deep-sea biological data, including the description of at least 1,000 new deep-sea species by 2030.

A major challenge in large scale collective research is the standardization and interoperability of data, with some initiatives, such as the Darwin Core making progress towards defining standards and vocabularies to facilitate biodiversity data sharing and integration.

Standardizing and innovating methodologies for deep-sea biodiversity assessment, including taxonomic identification and description in the Area, is one of the six strategic research priorities identified in ISA Action Plan in support of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development[1].

This workshop builds on the outcomes of the previous editions of the ISA workshop series on deep-sea taxonomic standardization, organized in collaboration with MABIK. It will focus on best practices for deep-sea taxonomic research to generate FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) data and enhance capacity in sharing deep-sea biological data.

[1] ISBA/26/A/17


Workshop aims

  • Provide knowledge and hands-on training on generating and sharing standardized biological data for advancing deep-sea taxonomy.
  • Facilitate the development and implementation of best practices for collecting, processing, and reporting biological data.
  • Promote the use of the ISA DeepData database by enhancing data quality and access to biological data collected in deep-sea habitats under mineral exploration.


Workshop outcomes

Under the umbrella of SSKI, it is expected that the outcomes of this workshop will:

  1. Contribute to increasing standardization and interoperability of deep-sea biodiversity data generated for areas under mineral resources exploration;
  2. Enhance capacity of ISA member States, particularly developing countries, to standardize, access, use, and share deep-sea biological data, improving ability of ISA contractors and members of the scientific community to use DeepData functionalities; and
  3. Enhance knowledge on interconnecting taxonomic data using DeepData and other open-access databases.

Please refer to the Terms of Reference for additional information. A detailed agenda and other meeting documents will be uploaded in due course.


Registration and selection

Members of ISA, as well as observers, contractors, international and regional organizations, projects/programs and initiatives, and academic/scientific institutions with an interest in contributing to the objectives of the workshop, are invited to register here as soon as possible, but no later than 7 July 2023 14 July 2023.

The maximum number of participants will be limited to 40 to enable effective engagement and discussion. Participants will be selected based on their expertise and experience in deep-sea biological data management and standardization, data sharing with open access biological databases, taxonomic and relevant capacity-building activities, as well as their interest and capacity in technical and financial partnerships for collaboration. Geographic representation and gender balance will be taken into consideration. Selected participants will be notified by 28 July 2023. 

Limited funding will be available by the organizers to finance the participation of the selected experts eligible for funding, in particular experts from developing States.

For enquiries, please contact: Mr. Sherron Barker, Project Manager, Sustainable Seabed Knowledge Initiative at


  • Action plan of the International Seabed Authority in support of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development [ISBA/26/A/17]
  • Report of the Workshop on Deep Sea Taxonomic Standardization: Strategic Approaches for Collaboration (15-16 September 2020) [link]
  • Report of the Workshop on Enhancing Image-based Biodiversity Assessments to Advance Deep-Sea Taxonomy (12-14 October 2021) [link]