The Nippon Foundation – GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project is now operational, chairman Yohei Sasakawa announced at a press conference.The project will realize Sasakawa’s vision of mapping the entire ocean floor by 2030.The Nippon Foundation has pledged US$2 million annually, and is calling for additional support from the global ocean community.Sasakawa noted, “The Nippon Foundation alone cannot achieve the objectives of this ambitious project. We will need the support of diverse stakeholders, including maritime corporations and technical experts. It is crucial that the ocean community comes together to achieve this goal.”He was joined by ocean-mapping experts, who emphasized that understanding the bathymetry of the global ocean is imperative for improving maritime navigation, and also for enhancing our ability to predict climate change and monitor marine biodiversity and resources. A comprehensive map of the seafloor will assist global efforts to combat pollution, aid marine conservation, forecast tsunami, and better understand tides, wave action, and sediment transport.Satinder Bindra has been appointed director for the project. The project draws on the experience of a growing network of more than 28 institutions and organizations around the world. The project will operate in four regional centers, each with responsibility for a region of the world’s ocean, with a global center based at the UK National Oceanography Center.