Major Grant Will Fund Long-Term Stewardship of the Deep Ocean


Vital efforts to safeguard the global ocean for future generations will be supported by new funding from Arcadia -a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. This new grant will allow experts to continue highlighting the science needed for conservation at international negotiations, such as United Nations Ocean Conferences and meetings that design rules for future deep seabed management.

While the deep ocean can feel distant from everyday life, the benefits it provides could not be more important. Making up more than 90 percent of the ocean, the deep stabilizes Earth’s climate, supports major fisheries, and provides critical habitat for wildlife.

Vibrant red tubeworms surrounding a deep-sea hydrothermal vent. Image credit: Ocean Networks Canada and CSSF-ROPOS.

Protecting these services from human activities takes robust national and international policies. For those rules to be effective, though, they need to be based on deep-ocean science. The Deep-Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI) is a global network of experts founded to share key knowledge with decision-makers. By connecting science and law, DOSI scientists and policy specialists help ensure that human use of the deep ocean is sustainable.

Arcadia began supporting DOSI in 2017 with a £400,000 grant through the University of Southampton, allowing DOSI members to provide five years of expert advice on important topics like conservation, fisheries, climate change and deep-sea mining. That support is now being followed with a ten-year, £3,570,000 grant (2022 – 2032) so that DOSI can expand its efforts.

This long-term funding will allow deep-ocean experts to help craft rules that will define humanity’s relationship with the ocean for decades to come. In particular, DOSI looks forward to supporting UN Sustainable Development Goals for the ocean, advancing access to deep-ocean science, and building international capacity to manage the deep ocean, our planet’s largest ecosystem.

DOSI experts attending United Nations talks on conserving ocean life beyond national jurisdiction in August 2022.

“We are delighted to continue our successful and supportive partnership with Arcadia, who share our vision for deep-ocean stewardship.” said Dr Maria Baker, DOSI’s Executive Director and Senior Enterprise Fellow in Ocean and Earth Science at the University of Southampton.

“As a network of over 2,500 experts from more than 100 countries, DOSI’s international ties mean that we are ideally placed to provide the knowledge needed for effective policies in both national and international waters.

“That work is especially important now, as the next decade will be a crucial time for the health of our ocean. DOSI has already been influencing future ocean management by hosting official side events for policymakers at meetings like the 2022 United Nations Ocean Conference. We are also proud to have had driven the launch of efforts like Challenger 150, a programme that is coordinating deep-ocean science projects to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals. With this continued support from Arcadia, DOSI can provide independent science to guide high-level negotiations on topics like seabed mining, climate change, biodiversity, and more. This funding also enables DOSI to support colleagues from under-resourced regions so they can participate in international events and working group activities.”


Editor’s Notes:

Arcadia is a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. It supports charities and scholarly institutions that preserve cultural heritage and the environment. Arcadia also supports projects that promote open access and all of its awards are granted on the condition that any materials produced are made available for free online. Since 2002, Arcadia has awarded more than $910 million to projects around the world.

The University of Southampton drives original thinking, turns knowledge into action and impact, and creates solutions to the world’s challenges. We are among the top 100 institutions globally (QS World University Rankings 2022). Our academics are leaders in their fields, forging links with high-profile international businesses and organisations, and inspiring a 22,000-strong community of exceptional students, from over 135 countries worldwide. Through our high-quality education, the University helps students on a journey of discovery to realise their potential and join our global network of over 200,000 alumni.

For further information, contact Maria Baker (