Building an International Ocean Community

Written by on March 28, 2013 in Other News
Carl Nettleton speaking at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio, June 2012. Ocean Day at  last June (Rio+20).

Carl Nettleton speaking at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio, June 2012. Ocean Day at last June (Rio+20).

OpenOceans Global is a non-profit, non-advocacy organization dedicated to “Linking People to the World’s Oceans.” With the philosophy that easily accessible and shared information will result in better, more informed decisions, OpenOceans Global will create an international community based on our oceans.

Their goal is simple: “To bring together and archive the world’s ocean data and creatively present that data so the public, the media and policy makers can understand what we know and don’t know about the ocean.” Well, it sounds simple but there are many steps OpenOceans Global must take in order to achieve this goal.

There is no place today where someone – a researcher starting a new study, a journalist doing research for a new article or even just a curious student – can go to find all of the ocean data that already exists. There isn’t a way for people around the world to share their information and coordinate strategies for further ocean research or management.

OpenOceans Global aims to change this by creating a global ocean research data portal where all of the “pieces of the ocean puzzle” can be put into place.

“OpenOceans Global believes it is impossible to save the ocean or to use it safely if we do not understand it,” writes Founder and President of OpenOceans Global Carl Nettleton. So that’s just what they will do. With one place for all of the ocean data, we will be able to more effectively address common ocean management issues including water quality, fisheries and even recreation.

OpenOceans Global has two phases to complete its goal. The first phase involves identifying all the organizations that currently collect ocean data and creating ways to collect data from those different sources. The second phase involves creating a way to effectively present that data online in a common format.

This research portal is designed for ocean researchers, but Nettleton explained to MST that “the average reader will be able to see visualizations of that data through the main portal.”

In an interview during Rio+20, Nettleton concludes that we need this research portal “so we can make the best decisions possible about how to create a sustainable ocean in the future – both for the environment and for the economy.”

OpenOceans Global continues to update their website as the project progresses, so be sure to check it out!

OpenOceans Global

OpenOceans Global

Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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