The World Ocean Council (WOC) is pleased to announce the expansion of its SMART Ocean-SMART Industries (SO-SI) Programme through the appointment of a Programme Manager, with support provided by Singapore-based Swire Shipping Pte. Ltd.
Mr. William Staby will lead the SO-SI Programme to organize industry/science partnerships and promote data collection by ships, platforms and other offshore infrastructure, which can be used to host or deploy instruments. Companies can also participate by sharing data they have previously collected.
Companies with vessels and offshore facilities are invited to contact WOC to participate in the SO-SI Programme, which enables companies to deliver on SDG 14 and the UN Decade of Ocean Science.
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Swire Shipping Pte. Ltd. Chairman Sam Swire said: “We at Swire Shipping are proud to be one of the inaugural sponsors of the World Ocean Council’s SO-SI Programme and look forward to it bringing real benefits to stakeholders at the earliest opportunity. Understanding the relationship between the atmosphere and our oceans is crucial to mitigating the effects of global warming. We must step up our efforts for data collection, especially as this can be achieved using ‘ships, rigs and undersea cables of opportunity’ often at minimal additional expense.”
Mr. Swire added that, “The first ‘International Maritime Conference for Devising a Uniform System of Met-Ocean Observations at Sea’ was successfully convened in Brussels 170 years ago. Since then, those of us who have been able to report data from the 71% of our planet that is water have done so both for the good of the environment and our industry.”
WOC CEO Paul Holthus emphasized that, “The most cost-effective way to significantly increase our understanding of the ocean (and the climate above the ocean) is to harness the use of the 60,000 merchant vessels, 3-4 million fishing boats, thousands of offshore aquaculture and energy installations and 1.2 million kilometers of submarine cables.”
Unlocking this potential is the goal of the WOC SO-SI Programme, which works to match companies with scientific institutions and ocean, weather and climate observation programmes and facilitate the installation or deployment of instruments and the transfer of data to the appropriate public agencies.
As the WOC is the only ocean business and investment organization with a global programme working to engage industries in data collection, the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO), International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), Seabed 2030 and other key ocean and climate institutions have developed partnerships with the WOC.
Advancing ocean industry data collection also creates needs for innovation in developing instruments, data transfer, analytics, etc., as well as important investment opportunities.