EurOCEAN 2010 highlights the importance of marine and maritime science and technology for our economies and societies
Oostende (BE) - 12/10/10 - 13/10/10
Over 300 researchers and policy makers are meeting at the conference 'EurOCEAN 2010: Grand challenges for marine research in the next decade' in Ostend on 12 and 13 October 2010 to outline the research and policy needs for the next decade. JRC scientists showcase their most recent activities and findings related to maritime and marine research.
The "Marine Knowledge 2020" initiative is the Commission's most recent answer to the marine science community's wishes. It calls for easier access to marine data, less fragmented standards and formats of the data, quality of the data, as well as for an integrated approach at EU level. This initiative acknowledges the role of the JRC as a thematic assembly centre for fisheries data that EU policy makers use, for example, to decide on fishing effort reductions or management measures.
The JRC supports the development of the EU integrated maritime policy through a range of activities related to maritime security (maritime surveillance, vessel and container tracking, and port security), safety of maritime transport and marine resources (fisheries and aqua-cultures).
The JRC has a leading position in satellite ship surveillance. It is researching systems that can provide a complete picture of traffic and developing integrated maritime surveillance tools. The Vessel Detection System (VDS), developed by the JRC's Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC), detects vessels using satellite images and integrating information from various reporting systems. The VDS is designed to complement inspections by national authorities through better targeting. Since 2009, EU legislation foresees operational use of the VDS in contexts where its cost-effectiveness can be proven.
Another key area of JRC work is related to the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) that aims to achieve good environmental status of the EU's marine waters by 2020 and to protect the resource base upon which marine-related economic and social activities depend. JRC’s Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES), in close collaboration with JRC-IPSC, provides scientific support for defining the environmental objective of Good Environmental Status of the MSFD, and develops methodologies to monitor it. Areas of JRC focus include biodiversity and alien species, chemicals in the environment, marine litter, eutrophication, and the health of fish stocks. This work has recently fed into a ‘Commission Decision on criteria and methodological standards on good environmental status of marine waters’.
EurOCEAN 2010 is organised by the Belgian Presidency of the European Union in close cooperation with the European Commission and the Marine Board of the European Science Foundation. It will discuss issues such as climate change, marine biotechnology (food security, environmental and human health); maritime transport, energy and marine spatial planning. It will culminate in the adoption of the "Ostend Declaration" about the grand challenges posed to research by the seas and oceans and how to address them.