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European experts identify key areas for future marine research

Tuesday 20 Feb 18


Patrizio Mariani
Senior Researcher
DTU Aqua
+45 35 88 33 53

Leading ocean experts, including researchers from DTU Aqua, have started work on a publication, which will provide European governments with robust, independent scientific advice and expert opinion on future seas and ocean research to 2030 and beyond.

Experts from the European Marine Board, an independent non-governmental advisory body,  which DTU Aqua is a member of, have identified five key areas of marine science to guide both the research and the science policy agendas at a European and national level over the coming years. This research will help us to understand how our ocean works, and the role we play in its past, present and future. 

Five key areas of marine science

The first workshop to discuss the areas to be covered took place in November 2017 in Brussels. Five key areas of marine science were identified. 

The five key areas are:

  1. To understand that the ocean is part of planet Earth and helps to regulate the climate; and that humans have a great role in influencing and being influenced by the ocean. The ocean should be studied and managed, not in different compartments as it is done currently, but as a whole, 4-dimensional system: horizontally, vertically and in time.
  2. To assess how human influence is affecting the ocean, not only looking at the problems individually (microplastics, overfishing, climate change, etc.), but seeing how these interact and impact the ocean together.
  3. To improve the predictions of extreme events, including natural hazards (like hurricanes and tsunamis) and climate induced impacts affecting the ocean (like ocean acidification and sea-level rise).
  4. To benefit from developments in information technology and artificial intelligence and apply them to ocean technologies.
  5. To foster the new discipline of sustainability science, that studies the interactions between natural, social and human systems, to contribute to solutions for complex challenges, like climate change or biodiversity loss.

The European Marine Board is in dialogue with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO to consider these five key areas of marine science and to promote holistic and integrated approaches to develop the common Implementation Plan for the UN ‘Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)’.

Final publication in 2019

Throughout 2018, the European Marine Board will work on the document, named Navigating the Future V, engaging the European marine science community, and the final publication is expected in spring 2019. 

The resulting publication will be written by the marine science community in a format accessible to international, European and national research programme managers, policy-makers, industry and the marine and wider earth system science community itself. 

The publication, the fifth in this series, provides regular pan-European summaries of current status of marine research, priority recommendations and future scientific challenges in the context of European needs. 

About the European Marine Board

The European Marine Board (EMB) is a leading European think tank in marine science policy. EMB is a network with a membership comprising major national marine/oceanographic institutes, research funding agencies and national networks of universities from countries across Europe. The Board provides a platform for its member organizations to develop common priorities, to advance marine research, and to bridge the gap between science and policy to meet future marine science challenges and opportunities.
Website: www.marineboard.eu