Technical paper

The importance of seafloor mapping to the new blue economy: A private sector perspective


28 May 2021


Millar, D.



This chapter explores the importance of seafloor mapping to the new blue economy and the private sector’s role in making these critical datasets more accessible worldwide. It starts by decribing a general lack of good bathymetry data globally, and notes how this deficiency inhibits sustainable ocean development.

Multibeam echosounder technology is presented as an ideal tool for acquiring high-resolution bathymetry, along with ancillary data sets that serve multiple other needs. Innovations to enable faster, safer, more cost-effective, and more sustainable multibeam data acquisition and delivery are explored, including remote operations, autonmous vehicle and robotic technologies, and artificial intelligence and cloud processing. These innovations are also examined in the context of a changing workforce. The article closes with a call for private sector engagement in two global ocean science initiatives that support a wholly mapped ocean: The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project and the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.