The Workshop on DeepData: Focusing on Data Management Strategy, organized by the International Seabed Authority (ISA), opened this week with a key focus on developing strategic approaches for collaboration to promote exchange and sharing of deep-sea data, and improve scientific knowledge of deep-sea ecosystems in the international seabed area (the “Area”) .

DeepData is the only global database designed to organize information related to deep-sea mineral resources and their environment collected by ISA exploration contractors during exploration activities. These data and information are systematically collected, standardized, and stored to facilitate data analysis and enhance our collective ability to understand and protect the marine environment in the Area.

The five-day workshop held remotely from 21 to 25 September 2020, will bring together over 150 representatives from ISA Member States, as well as observers, contractors, international and regional organizations, academic institutions, and scientific groups to further develop the functionality of the database, and how the data can be accessed and utilized to benefit humanity as whole.

In his welcome remarks, ISA Secretary-General Mr. Michael W. Lodge, underlined the importance of the workshop to advancing ISA’s mandate under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), particularly as it relates to promoting and encouraging marine scientific research in the Area and coordinating the dissemination of the results of this research.

“The launch of DeepData represents a critical achievement,” said the Secretary-General. “In designing the database, we have given careful consideration to the different needs of key users, from the Legal and Technical Commission (LTC), to the contractors and the general public,” he added. “These discussions and exchanges will be instrumental to enable the Secretariat to progress in its task and ensure that DeepData meets all expectations.”

In her opening remarks, Chairperson of the LTC, Ms. Michelle Walker of Jamaica, highlighted the need for the Secretariat to establish a data management strategy that would optimize the storage of increasingly large volumes of data.

“The Central Data Repository has experienced rapid growth following the increase in the number of exploration contracts, from 10 in 2011 to 30 contracts today,” said Ms. Walker. “I had the pleasure of joining the launch of DeepData, during the ISA 25th Session in 2019, where I spoke on its importance to the work of the Commission,” she added. “Ahead of us are many challenges and opportunities; with our continued collaboration, I am optimistic that DeepData will fulfil its mandate.”

The workshop will be conducted in three parts over the five days including a meeting for LTC members (2 days) from Monday, 21 to Tuesday, 22 September; a meeting for contractors (2 days) from Wednesday, 23 to Thursday, 24 September, and an open meeting for the public (1 day) on Friday, 25 September.

For more information on the workshop visit:

For media enquiries, please contact:

Ms. Katie Elles, Communications Specialist, International Seabed Authority M: +1 (876) 838 8323/ E:


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