The ocean is the largest ecosystem on our planet, regulating change and variability in the climate system and supporting the global economy, nutrition, health and wellbeing, water supply and energy.

The Global Ocean Science Report (IOC-UNESCO) assesses for the first time the status and trends in ocean science capacity around the world. It offers a global record of who, how, and where ocean science is conducted.

Ocean science, as considered in this report, includes all research disciplines related to the study of the ocean. Ocean science seeks to understand complex, multi-scale social-ecological systems and services, which requires observations and multidisciplinary and collaborative research.

The report identifies and quantifies the elements that drive the productivity and performance of ocean science, including workforce, infrastructure, resources, networks and outputs. It is intended to facilitate international ocean science cooperation and collaboration. It helps to identify gaps in science organization and capacity and develop options to optimize the use of scientific resources and advance ocean science and technology by sharing expertise and facilities, promoting capacity building and transferring marine technology.

Altogether, this report is a resource for policy-makers, academics and other stakeholders seeking to harness the potential of ocean science to address global challenges.

IOC-UNESCO (2017) Global Ocean Science Report – The current status of ocean science around the world. L. Valdés et al. (eds), Paris, UNESCO Publishing.