There has been much intensive research on the breeding biology of seabirds, but despite their role as important predatores at the top of the marine food chain, our knowledge of seabirds and their marine ecology remains patchy. Good knowledge of the life history of seabirds at sea is seen as crucial to a complete understanding of this ecosystem and this Symposium aims to report on current progress in ecological research on seabirds at sea. There will be several important themes of the Symposium, but the overall focus will embrace all aspects of seabird biology at sea, including the nature of seabirds dispersion, the identification of physical and biological processes that govern patterns of dispersion, and foraging and feeding ecology of seabirds at sea. Energetic studies of seabirds at sea and the impact of fishing and ftsheries on seabirds also will be significant themes. Breeding biology will not be excluded front the Symposium programme, but it will have as its main focus the activities of birds away front the breeding site or colony. The Symposium has four main objectives: 1) Critically review recent themes in the ecology of seabirds at sea and suggest future directions. 2) To report on current scientific research in marine ornithology. 3) To provide a forum for scientists to meet and discuss issues in seabird research. 4) To serve as a platform for seabird ecologists to communicate the results of their work