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Information on:

 The current status of Arctic sea ice

Natural Environment Research Council represented by National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NERC)

NERC is the UK's main agency for funding and managing research, training and knowledge exchange in the environmental sciences. The National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOCS; www.noc.soton.ac.uk) was established in 1995 as a collaborative centre between the Natural Environment Research Council and the University of Southampton. NOCS is the UK’s focus for oceanography and represents an unparalleled investment in marine and earth sciences and technology in the UK. Its key scientific mission is to deliver scientific excellence and understanding of the earth and its oceans as a dynamic interdisciplinary system. NOCS has a long and successful track record of involvement in projects funded by the European Commission, having been involved in more than 30 previous and current EC contracts and has co-ordinated several of these, including the highly successful FP6 HERMES and FP7 HERMIONE projects.

The Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) Group at NOCS is commissioned by the UK government to carry out research on the delineation of the continental shelf areas of the UK mainland and overseas territories. The Group also provides technical advisory services and support to other coastal states on issues related to the continental shelf maritime space, marine resource exploration and exploitation as well as maritime governance and policy.


Tasks attributed: The NOCS team will assist with co-ordination of ACCESS, will lead WP5 and participate in WP4.The UNCLOS Group delivers independent, high-quality scientific advice on territorial sovereignty, marine scientific research, resource management, and the preservation of the marine environment. Much of this advice focuses on continental shelf and margin settings, where demand for both living and non-living resources pushes exploration and exploitation into increasingly deeper waters. Specific issues include: advice on the limits of the legal UK continental shelf; support for technical negotiations with neighbouring coastal states on overlapping territorial claims; and advice to the UN International Seabed Authority relating to the deep seabed beyond national jurisdiction. The Group has a number of highly experienced research staff, many of whom have had direct experience of preparation, submission and defence of cases to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. While a core group of staff work full-time on UNCLOS issues, other staff with expertise in geophysics, seafloor surveying and benthic biology, are able to provide independent, policy-relevant advice on deep-sea biodiversity, bio-prospecting, bio-harvesting and marine environmental protection.


Principal Investigator:

Dr Lindsay Parson is Head of UNCLOS Group at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton. A marine geologist by training, he conducts research and teaching at NOCS and also leads the expert team providing technical advice to the UK government (and a number of other non-UK states) on maritime space issues, delimitation, dispute resolution, resource evaluation and management, and marine policy.