ISA will convene its first Taxonomic Exchange Workshop at the Senckenberg am Meer, Marine Research Department, Wilhelmshaven, Germany from June 10-15, 2013.

The workshop is the first of three and will focus on megafauna with two other workshops to focus on macrofauna and meiofauna in contract areas.

The proposal for the three taxonomic exchange workshops follow informal consultations between the Secretary-General and the exploration contractors for polymetallic nodules in January 2012 on the biological component of environmental baseline data in exploration areas and the need for taxonomic standardisation.

The workshop in Wilhelmshaven will focus on Megafauna and the main objectives would be to:

Create a standardised nomenclature for megafauna with associated descriptions and keys that can be used by all contractors and which will be made available on the web for use by the marine scientific community;
Collect representative images for each identified species;
Create an atlas of the locations where different species have been observed;
Identify a programme of work to address any gaps in knowledge or understanding, and,
Provide guidelines and procedures for use by prospectors and contractors in applying the standardised nomenclature.

The Authority will be supported by a team of taxonomists from the International Network for Scientific Investigations of Deep-Sea Ecosystems (INDEEP).  The team will be led by Dr. Gordon Paterson, Head, Aquatic Invertebrates Division, Department of Life Sciences of the Natural History Museum; Prof. Dr. Pedro Martinez Arbizu, Deutsches Zentrum für Marine biodiversitätsforschung Senckenberg am Meer; and Dr.  Lenaick Menot, Ifremer‐Brest (France).

For more information, follow the Workshop link for real time updates.