Image courtesy of the Schmidt Ocean Institute


A 20 Year Deep-Sea Legacy

Challenger 150 is a continuation of two decades of deep-sea effort that has involved scientists, economists and lawyers around the world under the umbrella of two major initiatives: INDEEP (International network for scientific investigation of deep-sea ecosystems) and DOSI (Deep-Ocean Stewardship Initiative), which are legacies of the deep-sea projects of the Census of Marine Life programme (2000-2010).

In 2021, the International Oceanographic Commission formally endorsed Challenger 150 as a new 10 year programme of deep-sea science under the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

C150 Timeline
A history of deep-sea research and stewardship
  • 2000

    Start of the Census of Marine Life programme, a 10-year international effort undertaken to assess the diversity, distribution, and abundance of marine life

  • 2010

    Completion of Census of Marine Life which had stimulated the discipline of marine science, engaging some 2,700 scientists from around the globe. The scientific results were reported on October 4, 2010 at the Royal Institution in London.

  • 2011

    International network for scientific investigation of deep-sea ecosystems (INDEEP) established, a global collaborative scientific network dedicated to the acquisition of data, synthesis of knowledge, and communication of findings on the biology and ecology of our global deep ocean, in order to inform its management and ensure its long-term health. 

  • 2013

    Deep-Ocean Stewardship Initiative established, a global network of experts seeking to integrate science, technology, policy, law and economics to advise on ecosystem-based management of resource use in the deep ocean and strategies to maintain the integrity of deep-ocean ecosystems within and beyond national jurisdiction

  • 2015

    Initial discussion about a new global deep sea programme at Challenger Deep Sea Special Interest Group meeting

  • 2017

    DOSI Decade of Deep-Ocean Science working group continues the work of INDEEP

  • 2018

    Royal Society meeting (London), to discuss “Beyond Challenger: a new age of deep-sea science and exploration”

  • 2019

  • 2020

    Challenger 150 formed from efforts of DOSI Decade WG, SCOR WG 159 and Challenger Deep Sea Special Interest Group

  • 2021

    Challenger 150 is endorsed by IOC-UNESCO as a action of the UN Ocean Decade

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