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European Flag    Europa The European Commission Research Fifth Framework Programme
Energy, environment and sustainable development

Sustainable marine ecosystems

If we are to preserve and sustain the invisible world deep within our oceans, we must take immediate action to remove threats to the planet's finely balanced marine ecosystems.

As European seas are among the most heavily used in the world, it is essential for the EU to have sustainable development policies and co-ordinated national marine policies. To minimise human impact, this key action will investigate marine processes and ecosystems in a concerted effort to facilitate sustainable use of the sea.
Alongside increasing threats from tourism, shipping and offshore exploitation, natural coastal phenomena such as flooding and erosion must also be monitored and managed. Marine observations systems must be improved and offshore operations made safer and more environmentally friendly.

Marine processes, ecosystems and interactions
  • enhancement of scientific knowledge to promote sustainable management policies

extreme environments, sedimentary systems, contaminant delivery and cycling

Coastal phenomena
  • monitoring, managing and alleviating pollution, flooding and erosion

morphological changes, risk analysis, sea states propagation, river mouth/tidal stability, estuarine-coastal interaction, minimising disturbance, fate of pollutants

Assessment of anthropogenic effect
  • human activity on biodiversity and marine ecosystems
  • exploring, characterising and monitoring marine environments

species introduction, biogeochemical cycling, recovery of degraded systems, biotechnical applications, surveying, deep-sea platforms

Offshore activities
  • pilot systems for operational offshore forecasting
  • sustainable marine observation system

measurement techniques for ocean parameters, mathematical models for impact assessment, best practice, international regulations

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