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[ePress kit]

News Alert

European science community highlights their contribution to maritime policy

Brussels, 14 June 2007

A major gathering of the European marine science community, taking place in Aberdeen on 22 June, will agree a contribution to the Commission's Green Paper on Maritime Policy that highlights the importance of research and science to a sound and inclusive European maritime policy. The EU's Research Framework Programmes have a good track record of supporting maritime research for protecting and preserving the marine environment, addressing marine pollution to limit impact on marine biodiversity, marine ecosystems, human health and other legitimate use of our seas and ensuring the sustainability of marine resources, goods and services. In fact, during the 6th Research Framework Programme, some 250 projects received €612 million in funding. Some highlights of this research portfolio are presented to the press today.

Three projects will be showcased, addressing different aspects of maritime science.

HERMES, led by Natural Environment Research Council, UK , examines the biodiversity, structure, function and dynamics of ecosystems along Europe's deep coast margin. It brings together scientists from a variety of disciplines - geology, sedimentology, physical oceanography, microbiology and biogeochemistry – to understand how the relationship of biodiversity to ecosystem works within our seas. With study sites from the Black Sea to the Arctic, it can consider a wide cross-section of European waters and seas. HERMES is a consortium of 45 partners, from 15 countries, including 9 small companies.

The Vessel Detection System (VDS) developed by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre uses satellite images to detect fishing vessels' activity whether or not vessels are reporting their position using the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS). VDS was successfully demonstrated in the North-East Atlantic, Baltic, Barents and North Seas, Western Waters and the Mediterranean. It is a powerful new tool to check for identify non-compliance with fishing regulations and thereby help reduce to mitigate the risks from illegal fishing.

VISIONS, a network of industrial and research partners operating in the maritime sector, is developing visionary concepts for vessels and floating structures in 5 market areas: maritime tourism/leisure; short sea shipping; inland shipping; deep sea shipping and floating infrastructures. The project is a think-tank for new ideas which could be marketable in the medium to long term. It is specifically designed to combine scientific expertise with industrial and market requirements and to think differently about future maritime and marine needs and use. VISIONS has 24 core partners from 10 countries, coming from industry and academia.

The European Commission has supported a wide range of marine-related research activities. Under its Sixth Research Framework Programme (FP6), 250 projects were funded in 11 different fields, from maritime transport and marine environment to food, agriculture & biotechnology, health and energy. The total funding received from the EU for these projects was €612 million. It is already clear that the possibilities across the FP7 programme are also considerable.

Maritime policy is crucial for Europe's future competitiveness and quality of life. 40% of the EU's GDP is generated in maritime regions, while almost 90% of external trade is carried by sea. Coastal tourism is not only responsible for 5% of total GDP, but is increasing annually by 3%. But there are limitations: 11 of the world's 15 major fisheries and 70% of commercial fish species are over-exploited. Increasing pollution of coastal water threatens marine biodiversity, human health and the income-generating possibility of leisure and recreation-based industries. A comprehensive approach, based on sound science is therefore required, and is the focus of the Commission's Green Paper on a future Maritime Policy for Europe, launched last year. The wide-ranging consultation on the Green Paper will come to and end on 30 June 2007. The aim is to promote an all-embracing and coherent approach to all policies affecting maritime activities, such as shipping, shipbuilding, maritime transport, fisheries, tourism, port services and energy extraction etc.

For more information:

Spokesperson for Science and Research
Antonia Mochan, Communication DG, European Commission
Tel: +32.2.296 9921

Press kit

(You will need Adobe Reader – free at Adobe Systems – for the items marked ; the other links are to normal web pages.)

Programme of technical press briefing  40 kB
List of documents prepared for journalists  16 kB
Audio download of technical briefing: sound science for maritime policy
Green Paper: Towards a future Maritime Policy for the Union  6 MB
Research and the Future European Maritime Policy  1.3 MB
Sound science for Marine & Maritime research  548 kB
Maritime facts and figures  1.4 MB
Presentation on the HERMES project (by Anthony Grehan)  6.4 MB
Anthony Grehan's bio  8 kB
Video: Research to protect deep-sea corals (HERMES project)
Presentation on vessel detection systems (by Jacques Delincé)  2 MB
Jacques Delincé's bio  34 kB
Vessel detection: background info  193 kB
The Vessel Detection System – VMS and VDS  2.7 MB
Technical presentation on VISIONS (by Duncan Forbes)  867 kB
A glimpse of the future – the "Network of Excellence for Visionary Concepts for Vessels and Floating Structures"  131 kB
Duncan Forbes' bio  31 kB
A future Marine & Maritime Policy for Europe 777 kB
EurOCEAN 2007 Conference, June 2007, Aberdeen
Transport Research at the European Commission
Environment Research at the European Commission
European Commission – Maritime Affairs
Background Documents for the Green Paper towards a future Maritime Policy for the Union - a European Vision for the Oceans and Seas
Comments received after the Green Paper's Adoption
Global Change and Ecosystems – Catalogue of FP6 Projects  40 kB
Main marine and maritime research projects under global change and ecosystems  117 kB
Marine and Coastal Dimension of Climate Change in Europe  4.6 MB
Marine Biotechnology Research and the EU 7th Research Framework Programme – The Bremen Meeting  106 kB
The oceans and global warming
Galway Declaration  54 kB
Research support to the Common Fisheries Policy  525 kB
Joint Research Centre on Maritime Policy  77 kB
European Lifestyles and Marine Ecosystems  8.4 MB
DECLIMS Detection and Classification of Maritime Traffic from Space  758 kB
ROTIS Remotely Operated Tanker Inspection System  441 kB
Maritime Surveillance at Joint Research Centre (JRC)  493 kB
Supporting the recovery of European regional seas (JRC)  1 MB
Conclusions of the seminar on Marine Sciences and Technologies in FP7 on 16 January 2007  1.8 MB
POW'WOW - A Coordination Action on Prediction of Waves, Wakes and Offshore Wind  158 kB
Programme of EurOCEAN 2007 Aberdeen  85 kB
A European Network of Excellence for Ocean Ecosystems Analysis (EUR-OCEANS): Assessing the impact of climate change on marine ecosystems, including living resources  24 kB
European Network of Excellence for Ocean Ecosystems Analysis (EUR-OCEANS)
European Ocean Energy Association
Surface Transport Research in the 7th Framework Programme  8.1 MB

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