The International Seabed Authority (ISA), in collaboration with the China Ocean Mineral Resources Research and Development Association (COMRA), and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, will convene a  workshop on Marine Scientific Research in the Area, via an online platform from 15 to 17 December 2020.

The workshop aims to:

  • review existing efforts in gathering knowledge and information on hydrothermal vent ecosystems in the Indian Ocean, and identify knowledge gaps and priorities for future scientific research;
  • identify best practices, including technological innovations to address knowledge gaps related to mid-ocean ridge ecosystems in the Indian Ocean through standardization of methodologies, protocols and procedures for environmental monitoring and data sharing;
  • explore mechanisms for collaboration among and between contractors, and the scientific community to support long-term observation and monitoring of hydrothermal vent ecosystems in the Indian Ocean.

It is expected that the workshop outcomes will provide the necessary elements and priorities to start developing a collaborative platform for marine scientific research, to support ISA mandates in mid-ocean ridges in the Indian Ocean.

A detailed agenda and other meeting documents will be available on the workshop event page in due course, including an information note on the use of WebEx.

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 15 September 2020.

The maximum number of participants will be limited to 80 to enable effective engagement and discussion. Participants will be selected based on their knowledge of hydrothermal vent ecosystems in the Indian Ocean, and their interest in partnerships for collaboration. Geographic representation and gender balance will also be taken into consideration. Selected participants will be notified in due course, not later than 15 October 2020.

For enquiries, please contact:

Ms. Wanfei Qiu, Programme Manager (Marine Environment), Office of Environmental Management and Mineral Resources, International Seabed Authority (