Science Advances

Special Collection

Today, researchers, enterprise owners, and policy makers are working together in haste to understand and manage human influence on the living and mineral resources of the high seas. This effort is a formable challenge. The oceans represent one-and-a-half times the total land area on the planet and their dynamics play critical—yet poorly understood—roles in regulating climate and biogeochemical cycles, supporting biodiversity, and providing rare habitats to rare species. At the same time, development of ocean resources is moving forward at breakneck pace, putting the sustainable health of the high seas at risk.

This Special Collection of open access articles, curated by Science Advances Deputy Editor Dr. Jeremy Jackson & Associate Editor Dr. Jennifer Jacquet, has been compiled in the hope that the research presented can be used to better understand ecological, geological and other systems underlying the functional health of global oceans, and inform those concerned with the exploration and use of living and mineral resources found in the high seas. The data and analyses in this collection highlight the challenges in balancing the long-term imperatives of preserving global ocean resources with shorter-term economic and political interests that seek to quickly and vigorously draw value from them. The eight papers in the collection range from a study of the ownership of marine genetic resources, to work exploring effective management of deep sea mineral mining, to studies investigating the impacts of expanding large-scale fishing in international waters, including how catch is transported and where it is consumed.

These and all research published by Science Advances are open access, free to read online including all supplementary materials.

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