Ethical recommendations for ocean observation
- 1Institute for Science and Ethics, Nice, France
- 2GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany
- 3National Oceanography Centre Southampton, UK
- 4Ocean Tracking Network, University of Dalhaousie, Halifax, Canada
Abstract. The United Nations proclaimed a decade of marine science for sustainable development (2021–2030) to develop a common framework that will ensure that ocean science can fully support countries in achieving the goal of sustainable development. Marine scientific understanding is fundamental to managing human activities that affect this environment, and ocean observations have a particularly important role in enhancing the knowledge base of our oceans. With this important task, scientists have the responsibility to act in an ethical way and apply all the fundamental principles described in the Cape Town statement: (a) ethical values, (b) social values and (c) cultural values (Peppoloni and Di Capua, 2017).
This article is a fist attempt to highlight the core values applicable to ocean observation, which can then be improved and adopted as part of geoethics and the stewardship of the Earth system. It opens up avenues for reflection on geoethical implications in the field of ocean observation and suggests nine key principles that marine scientists could follow in their innovative research regarding open access to data, effectiveness, compliance with laws, environmental respect and nature conservation, reciprocal relation and cultural respect, equity and fairness, knowledge transfer, governance adapted to socio-ecological systems, and the use of animals in research.