Less than 20% of the ocean floor has been mapped. It is now accepted that a global seabed map can only be achieved through international co-operation. INFOMAR has made its hydrographic data freely available from the start and thus is well placed to contribute to an Atlantic mapping project.
The Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance (AORA) was formed following the signing of the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation between Canada, the EU and the US in May 2013 in the Marine Institute. The overarching goal is to promote the sustainable management of the North Atlantic Ocean by pooling the resources of the three signatories and creating a road map towards delivery of the same.
Priority areas include seabed mapping, aquaculture, ocean literacy, ocean health and ocean observation/prediction. A key component of the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance is the Atlantic Seabed Mapping Working Group of which INFOMAR are active members. The specific aims are to undertake a collaborative EU, US & Canadian multibeam echo sounder (MBES) survey across the Atlantic basin.