Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative






Mission Statement:
 DOSI seeks 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.
Sign Up for DOSI:
If you would like to receive further information regarding DOSI activities, send an email to:  (leave subject line EMPTY and type "subscribe dosi-alert" in the main body of the email.  Remove all signatures or any other text from the email. You will then receive an automated confirmation email from DOSI. If you wish, you can become an ACTIVE member of a DOSI WG and aid with activities relating to the priorities below.  Please contact the lead (mentioned below) for futher details. 
DOSI Priority Issues:

Working Group 1: Ecosystem-based management in the deep sea

Seabed Mining Lead: Craig Smith (University of Hawaii, USA)

Completed Activities

  • Submitted a brief to the Global Ocean Commission outlining priority issues for the deep sea (Led by Cindy Van Dover)
  • Submitted a brief to the International Seabed Authority Legal and Technical Commission requesting support for a multi-disciplinary workshop to develop an environmental management strategy for The Area (Led by Cindy Van Dover)
  • Published Science Policy Forum that identifies special features and associated management needs of the deep sea (Lead Kathryn Mangerink –
  • EIA workshop with attention to defining significant impact and performing cumulative impact assessment (March 2014, Leads Ashley Rowden, Kathryn Mangerink, Lisa Levin, Penny Dockerty). Report.

Ongoing and Planned Activities

  • Student projects that examine existing management practices, marine spatial planning tools, cost-benefit analyses, technology needs and consumer behavior relevant to the deep sea (Lead: Student Committee)
  • Development of a research and development plan to support improved deep-sea management in collaboration between industry and research communities.
  • Convene an international workshop focused on developing a decadal vision for ecosystem-based management in The Area. (Lead: Cindy Van Dover) – applied for funds.
  • Contribute to regional-scale environmental management workshops and tools for the South Pacific, Benguela Current, mid Atlantic, South Atlantic, and other regions (Bronwen Currie)
  • Prepare and publish a legal analysis of competence of ISA for protection of the environment (Lead: Frida Armas)
  • Perform a GIS inventory of current deep-sea mining proposals within and beyond areas of national jurisdiction.
  • Hold a workshop on economic tools and benefit-cost analyses for environmental management of deep-seabed mining (Lead: Dale Squires)

Working Group 2: Knowledge Gaps and Global Ocean Assessments

Leads: Tony Koslow & Maria Baker

Ongoing and Planned Activities

  • Identify major ocean assessments, their scope, how the deep-sea is included, and the active contributors. Begin with World Ocean Assessment.
  • Evaluate the adequacy of deep-sea representation based on a DOSI survey.
  • Through a workshop and brief, organize deep-sea inputs to assessments, conduct a gap analysis and develop recommendations to rectify gaps.

Working Group 3. Transparency, compliance and industry engagement

Leads: Jeff Ardron & Paul Holthus

Ongoing and Planned Activities

  • Perform a survey focused on evaluating effects of industries with the aim of engaging industry (e.g. through World Ocean Council and regulatory institutions) to help increase ocean observations and data sharing.
  • Host joint seminars with industry, policy makers and scientists on cross-cutting issues.

Working Group 4. Raise awareness and build capacity in developing nations

Lead: Christian Neumann

Completed Activities

  • Create a DOSI poster for presentation at meetings.
  • Create a searchable reference list for all available videos concerning deep-sea biology and impacts (pre-cursor to online course development) (Lead Maria Baker)

Ongoing and Planned Activities

  • Develop web-based courses on the fundamentals of deep-sea ecology and short courses that examine deep-sea stewardship issues. (Lead Maria Baker)
  • Write ‘Deep-ocean for Beginners’.
  • Compile a deep-sea bibliography.
  • Enhance and develop new deep-sea Apps for outreach.
  • Establish schools of excellence for deep-ocean science and stewardship.

Working Group 5. Explore and identify options for conserving and sustainably utilizing deep-sea genetic resources, including questions related to access and benefit sharing of marine genetic resources beyond national jurisdiction

Leads: Elva Escobar & Kristina Gjerde

Ongoing and Planned activities

  • Briefings on new uses of deep sea living resources, and options for their conservation and sustainable use.
  • Engaging with Delphi study - UK
  • Roundtables with research community, government representatives, industry and other experts to identify obstacles to access and potential modalities for sharing benefits of deep sea genetic resources.

Working Group 6. Facilitate communication and networking  

Leads: Maria Baker Lisa Levin

Completed Activities

  • Create a DOSI webpage (currently embedded in the INDEEP website as DOSI has strong links with the INDEEP programme) to give background information and details of all current DOSI activities. 
  • Create a working list of organizations and agencies (and contacts) with an interest in issues relevant to deep-sea stewardship.
  • DOSI visibilty in meetings and workshops (see DOSI newsletter2 for detail).
Ongoing activities
  • Provide a centralized location for information about ongoing deep-sea stewardship activities across multiple sectors, jurisdictions and disciplines.
  • Hold multidisciplinary sessions on DOSI themes at national and international meetings.

Working Group 7: Promote Responsible and Sustainable Deep-Sea Fisheries

Leads: Les Watling, Claire Nouvian & Matthew Gianni

Ongoing and Planned Activities

  • Promote the development of impact assessments for all future fisheries in the deep sea
  • Prepare database of deep-sea bottom trawling impact studies.
  • Review the environmental impact assessments for deep-sea bottom fisheries on the high seas
  • Draft a ‘field guide’ for conducting impact assessments for deep-sea fisheries.
  • Work to support passage of a bill in the European Parliament to phase out bottom trawling in the deep NE Atlantic.
  • Prepare history of deep-sea fishing for publication.
  • Work with responsible parties to refine definitions and understand distributions of vulnerable marine ecosystems.

Working Group 8: Deep-Sea Tailing Placement

Lead: Eva Ramirez-Llodra

Ongoing and Planned Activities

  • International workshop on DSTP for all stakeholders
  • Stakeholder resources and communication
  • Collaboration with new DSTP Chilean research programme
  • Collaborations with other programmes with DSTP interests
  • Link with IMO on legal issues

Working Group 9: Oil & Gas

Lead: Erik Cordes

Ongoing and Planned Activities

  • Active WG discussions on a range of topics
  • Group workshop during DSBS, Aug 2015
  • Case study assimilation from a varietyof stakeholders to compare regulations of different nations to offshore oil and gas development
  • Best practices for deepwater oil and gas stewardship


 Key meetings: 
DOSI Open Information and Planning Meeting - Aveiro, Portugal.  Sunday 30th August 2015 (prior to 14th DSBS).  If you intend to come, please visit this link and enter your information.  One night accommodation on Aug. 30 can be provided for the first 20 people upon request to members from developing countries.  Request to Lisa Levin:
AAAS DOSI sepecial session: "Deep-Ocean Industrialization: A New Stewardship Frontier". Chicago, 13-17 February 2014. Lead: Lisa Levin (SIO). Speakers: Pendleton (Duke Nicholas Institute), Van Dover (Duke University), Smith (Nautilus Minerals), Currie (DSCC), Gjerde (IUCN) and Levin (SIO).
Example of media coverage from event.
Key Documents:
Report of 1st DOSI Workshop held in Mexico city in April 2013: workshop report.
2nd DOSI Newsletter - March 2014.

DOSI Science Policy Forum paper link to reprint

DOSI WG1 EIA workshop, March 2014.  Report.

DOSI & INDEEP - University of Southampton MOOC.  Presented by Maria Baker
DOOS Overview - Deep Ocean Observing Strategy.

The latest draft of the report is also on the IOC website at: This is a consultative draft for community input and comment.

BBC Radio 4 - Into the Abyss.  Lisa Levin and other DOSI members feature in this discussion of deep-sea mining.


DOSI Webinar Series 

This webinar series (sponsered by INDEEP) is intended to inform members of the deep-sea community about deep-ocean stewardship activities underway via various organizations. The fortnightly webinar series aims to inform each other in the deep-sea community, avoid duplication of  efforts and create opportunities for partnership and collaboration. 

7 May – Kristina Gjerde (IUCN & DOSI) & Jeff Ardon (IASS & DOSI) - Listen to recording here

21st May - Eric Lindstrom (DOOS) & Pat Halpin (CBD ESBAs) - Listen to recording here

 4th June - Sandor Mulsow (ISA) - Listen to recording here

 18th June – Phil Weaver (MIDAS) & Hannah Lily (SPC-SOPAC) - Listen to recording here

2nd July – Paul Holthus (WOC) & Matt Gianni (DSCC)-Listen to recording here 

16th July – David Johnson (GOBI) & Kristian Teleki (GOC) - Listen to recording here

Links to other relevent webinars:

International deep seabed mining


Lisa Levin (Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA).

Elva Escobar (Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnologia, UniversidadNacional Autónoma de México).

Maria Baker (International Network for Scientific Investigation of Deep-sea Ecosystems, University of Southampton, National Oceanography Centre, UK).
Kristina Gjerde (International Union for Conservaton of Nature, POLAND).
Advisory Board:

Jeff Ardron (Institute for Advanced Studies in Sustainability, Potsdam, GERMANY)

Tony Koslow (Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA)
Kathryn Mengerink (Environmental Law Institute, USA)
Lenaick Menot (IFREMER, FRANCE)
Christian Neumann (GRID- ARENDAL, NORWAY)
Linwood Pendleton (Duke University, USA)
Eva Ramirez-Llodra (ICM-CSIC, SPAIN)
Ashley Rowden (NIWA, NZ)
Tracey Sutton (Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences, USA)
Craig Smith (University of Hawaii, USA)
Andrew Sweetman (International Research Institution of Stavanger, NORWAY)
Verena Tunnicliffe (University of Victoria, Canada)
Cindy Van Dover (Duke University, USA)
Ursula Witte (University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK)
Hiroyuki Yamamoto (JAMSTEC, JAPAN)
First DOSI workshop - Mexico City, 15-17 April 2013
Twenty-eight invited participants from 14 countries met to discuss research, management and decision‐making needs required to maintain the integrity, functions and services of the deep ocean for future generations. The group agreed that expanding human activity in the deep ocean has created an urgent need to engage experts in biology, law, policy, economics, business, regulation and conservation in stewardship issues. Three days of deliberations produced a core set of themes and action items to launch a Deep-Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI), which are descirbed above.





DOSI Participants (left to right):  Row 1 Verónica Aguilar Sierra, Ana Luisa Figueroa, Elva Escobar, Lisa Levin, Eva Ramirez-Llodra, Frida Armas Pfirter, Kathryn Mengering; Row 2 Paul Tyler, Hiroyuki Yamamoto, César Sánchez Ibarra, Kristina Gjerde, Bronwen Currie, Jennie Dean, Ana Lara-Lopez, Alfonso Ascencio, Tracey Sutton, Cindy Van Dover; Row 3 Michael Lodge, Ursula Witte, Dale Squires, Maria Baker, Andrew Sweetman, Lenaick Menot, Jeff Ardron, Christian Neumann, Tony Koslow, Aquila Tawake, Paul Holthus.


The workshop was co-hosted by the Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnologia (CMARL) at UNAM, the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO), University of California San Diego and the International Network for Scientific Investigation of Deep-sea Ecosystems (INDEEP).  Support for the workshop was provided by the Kaplan Foundation, INDEEP (funded by Fondation Total), the National Commission for Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO, Mexico) and La Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas  (CONANP, Mexico). 


Links to key DOSI-related groups and issues

International Network for Scientific Investigations of Deep-Sea Ecosystems
Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation

International Seabed Authority

Global Ocean Commission

UN World Ocean Assessment

World Ocean Council

Deep-Ocean Videos Online

Searchable listing created with links to online videos concerning biology and anthropogenic impact in the deep ocean.

International Union for the Conservation of Nature
MIDAS - Managing Impacts of Deep-Sea Resource Exploitation
Deep-Sea Conservation Coalition
Future Earth


Project Office Hosts