International Voluntary Observing Ships (VOS) Scheme

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The VOS Scheme is an international program comprising member countries of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) that recruit ships to take, record and transmit marine meteorological and oceanographic observations while at sea. The VOS Scheme consists of national VOS fleets, each of which consists of a mix of commercial, research, fishing, passenger and private vessels. The VOS Scheme is coordinated by the Ship Observation Team (SOT) in the Joint WMO/IOC Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM), a partnership between the WMO and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). In addition to the VOS Scheme, there are several supplementary ship data collection programs that share common features with the VOS Scheme.