The International Research Ship Operators (IRSO) forum is a group of research ship operators representing 49 organisations from 30 countries who manage over 100 of the world’s leading marine scientific research vessels. IRSO membership is open to all research ship operating institutes or national research programmes that are engaged in the collection of data from ships at sea, and follow established protocols for the open publication of their results.
IRSO members gather annually (September/October) to share information and solve problems of mutual interest to better support the marine scientific community’s research efforts at sea. IRSO also acts as a voice to promote the research ship community and provide expert advice to other bodies as required. Previously known as the International Ship Operators Meeting (ISOM), IRSO was founded in 1986 and is attended voluntarily with meetings hosted by and in participating countries.
IRSO has close links with and is attended by research vessel groups such as the European Research Vessels Operators(ERVO), the Ocean Facilities Exchange Group (OFEG) and the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS).