The ocean is an interconnected network of animals, plants, rocks, and other structures. When a change happens to one component of an ocean ecosystem, it can have dramatic impacts on the ecosystem as a whole. People cause many changes in the ocean. We can unintentionally set an ecosystem off balance without even knowing it simply by using marine resources we rely on, such as seafood and energy.
We need to be careful how we use our ocean and its resources. Careful practice requires good management that balances use, enjoyment, and protection. But if we don’t know what’s out there, how can we manage it?
By exploring unknown reaches of the ocean and putting gained intelligence into the hands of management and regulatory communities, exploration helps to ensure that the ocean is not just managed, but managed WELL.