Post Cruise Obligations

Please visit the US State Department Marine Scientific Research Authorizations web site for the most current information.  The following is taken from the United Nations MSR guide (ISBN No. 978-92-1-133695-5 e-ISBN No. 978-92-1-054478-8).

Provision of preliminary reports and final results

169. Although art. 249, para. 1 (b), provides that preliminary reports and final results need to be formally provided to the coastal State only if it has specifically requested them, it is advisable to make the submission of such reports and results to the coastal State a standard/systematic practice. With regard to the requirement under the Convention to provide the coastal State with preliminary reports as soon as practicable after the completion of the research, the compliance by the researching State with this requirement may be facilitated by the provision by the coastal State of additional details to be contained in the preliminary reports (see draft standard forms A, B and C).

170. Time period for submission No fixed time-limits are set in the Convention for providing the preliminary reports, final results and conclusions of the research to the coastal State. The coastal State, when it gives its consent, could suggest a possible timeframe for the transmission of preliminary reports. Although the time span between the end of the cruise and the availability of the final results can vary substantially depending upon the nature of the research, all efforts should be made to supply the final results and conclusions to the coastal State as soon as they become available. This point should be provided for within the preliminary reports.

171. Form of submission The report should be transmitted through official channels to the coastal State’s scientists involved. It is suggested that it may be much easier and more reliable to provide reports in an accessible electronic copy as opposed to sending sometimes long and complex documents by fax or in hard copy. In addition, consideration should be given to providing the coastal State with reports written in a language which can be read by scientists of the coastal State. For the preliminary report, a draft model form is attached as draft standard form C in Annex I, to the present guide.

172. Ensuring the utility and scientific application of research data The researching State is encouraged to deliver research data and results in a form that is useful to the coastal State. This utility can be assured if the coastal State defines its preferences within the authorization documentation (see draft standard form B). Upon receipt of the data results and reports through official channels, the responsibility to disseminate the products to the interested parties at the national level rests with the coastal State, unless otherwise expressly indicated by the coastal State in the authorization. Enhancing domestic communication networks between those responsible for research authorizations and those within other national ministries, academia and interest groups, may enhance the utility of the outcomes of the research.

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Access to data and samples

173. In order to retain the results of marine scientific research data in a manner that enables its easy retrieval, a careful cataloguing of research results is advisable. To this end, oceanographic data centers with a common set of data and metadata standards may provide a useful tool if the concerned States so decide.

174. Deployers of Argo floats should take particularly into account that in accordance with the Argo Guidelines (see para. 119), data obtained by the Argo Programme floats in the exclusive economic zone would be made freely available to all States, except where such data is of direct significance for the exploration and exploitation of natural resources, whether living or non-living, and a request for non-distribution has been made by the coastal State concerned.

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Assessment of data, samples and research results

175. Although it is preferable for the coastal State to indicate a request for assessment of data, samples and research results or assistance in doing so (art. 249, para. (d)) when giving consent for the research project, it may still decide to make such a request after receipt of the final results and conclusions of the research.

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International availability of research results

176. To facilitate international availability of research results (art. 249, para. 1(e)) and access, and appropriate dissemination of data, the researching State should be encouraged to submit data to data centers affiliated with the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.

177. The national and regional marine scientific and technological centers envisaged under Part XIV of the Convention, where they exist, may be used for dissemination purposes, as provided for in the Convention.

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Fulfillment of obligations

178. It is advisable for a researching State or competent international organization expressly to inform the coastal State involved, after final results and conclusions of a research project have been provided to it, that all obligations related to a specific research project have in its opinion been fulfilled. Such a notice may be useful for the purpose of the application of art. 246, para. 5, which gives the coastal State the discretionary power to withhold consent if the researching State or international organization has outstanding obligations to the coastal State from a prior research project.

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