There are three drivers for the EU Strategy for Marine and Maritime Research:
The EU’s maritime regions account for around 40% of its GDP and the maritime economy for 3 to 5%.
|Maritime transport||90% of external trade and 40% of internal trade|
3.5 billion tonnes/year and 350 million passengers/year
|Shipbuilding||0.8 million jobs|
turnover of €90 billion/year;
world leader in the production of highly sophisticated vessels
|Energy||Alternative energies: tidal and wave power, offshore wind farms|
€121 million turnover in 2005, with increasing growth
|Fisheries & aquaculture||0.5 million jobs;|
0.3% of EU GDP equating to about €20 billion/year;
aquaculture represents 19% of the Union's total fishery production
|Tourism & coastal zones||3 million jobs|
€72 billion turnover in 2005
|New resources & Blue biotechnology||emerging sector with predicted growth of 10% per year and a global market of €2.4 billion|
|Climate change||Sea level rise|
Toxic waste and contaminants
Air pollution absorbed by the seas
|Habitat degradation||Coastal and marine development|
|Overfishing||EU fish stocks are exploited 2 to 5 times more than the maximum sustainable yield|
These are general pressures which affect all EU sea basins; however specific types of pressure may also arise at regional level
Numerous types of human activities are present in coastal and marine areas: agriculture, urbanisation, tourism, ports and navigation routes, fisheries, mariculture, mineral resource exploitation, military activities, dredging and disposal, renewable energy, etc.
These activities, on the one hand, exert pressure on the marine and coastal environment; on the other, they all compete indicatively for the same spatial area.
This suggests the necessity for careful spatial planning of human activities at sea.
The aim of the strategy is to provide the scientific support necessary to help policy-makers reconcile the three trends mentioned above: i) the socio-economic importance of maritime economy; ii) the increasing environmental pressures, due to human activities and climate change; iii) the increasing competition for a limited marine space.
It does so by moving towards an integrated marine and maritime European Research Area (ERA).
In particular, the Strategy sets out:
The role of the European Commission in the implementation of this strategy is:
Actions will be taken by the European Commission in partnership with Member States, third countries and the marine and maritime research stakeholders.
The Marine and Maritime Research Strategy is one of the implementation actions foreseen in "An integrated maritime policy for the European Union" (60 KB), adopted in June 2007.
As specified in the Action plan for the Maritime Policy, a European Maritime Research Strategy is necessary to provide the interdisciplinary knowledge base to underpin the future EU Maritime Policy.