Foreign Waters

It is your responsibility as chief scientist to inform the ship scheduler, well in advance, and with complete details, of any plans or changes in plans for work in waters claimed by foreign governments - usually any waters within 200 nautical miles of their coasts (this includes collection of swath bathymetry while "in transit" through foreign waters). Authorization for work in foreign waters is obtained through official channels and often requires 7 months or more advance notice. It is becoming increasingly difficult to work in waters claimed by other nations because of a tendency for many of these coastal states to impose restrictions or conditional permission of one kind or other. It is important that you be prepared to deal with these contingencies. Some nations require that any work conducted in their waters be planned and executed in cooperation with scientists or institutions of their own nation; these people should be involved from the very beginning. Even when this degree of involvement is not required, it is normal for the host nation to require that one or two official observers be allowed to join the cruise and participate in the research. Bunk space and travel funds for these observers are your obligation, and should be budgeted for. NSF informs us that they consider this an appropriate item for the scientific research budget, not the ship operations budget.

Host nations may require some portion of the samples be turned over to them, as well as copies of all data and logs. They most certainly will require that copies of all reports and publications be sent to them.

A standardized data report and data copies, covering routine underway data types, are prepared by SIO and submitted to the State Department without charge to the science program. Foreign government requirements for additional copies or for other kinds of data and samples not covered in this standard submission will require science program effort and/or funding to SIO/STS for the necessary work. The Ship Scheduling Office can provide further details.

For more information on foreign clearances please contact the SIO Ship Scheduling Office.

Navy Clearances

The waters from Point Conception to the Mexican border and out 200 miles are heavily used by the U.S. Navy for air, surface and sub-surface operations including training exercises/maneuvers and live fire demonstrations. For more information regarding our approach to working in these waters, click here.