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ISO standard for marine survey fills the blank
China Standardization 2021-12-17

Given that life is widely believed to be born in the ocean, it is important to understand how the ocean creatures live, which are distributed from the surface to the deepest darkness - seabeds.

In order to unveil the mystery of life, climate and the earth, many countries have carried out international comprehensive research programmes together, such as the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) and the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP).

Scientists study interstitial biota inhabited in seabed sediments, which covers life forms of all six kingdoms, aka the kingdoms of Archaebacteria, Eubacteria, Protista, Fungi, Plantae and Animatia. Also, these biogroups are keys to deal with many scientific problems, including marine biopersity, oil and gas exploration, marine carbon cycling, global change, monsoon, etc.

However, it is hard to compare and summarize current research results, because different technologies and regulations are adopted by countries involved in the surveys of benthic habitats at seabeds. The new ISO standard initiated by China just fills this blank.

ISO 23040:2021, Marine environment impact assessment (MEIA) - Specification for marine sediments in seabed areas - Survey of interstitial biota, outlines requirements and recommendations for marine surveys at seabeds.

The standard, published in December, was developed by ISO/TC 8/SC 13, Marine technology, which is a common effort of specialists from China, USA, UK, Russia, Germany, Iran, South Korea, Singapore and Panama. It is expected to be applied in the field of utilization of marine biological resources, integrated environmental exploration, ecological environment assessment, protection and management.

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