How to invest in our oceans

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It's Oceans' Day at EU Green Week 2016: How can we use the many resources the oceans offer while preserving their valuable ecosystems? These 5 projects – funded through the EU's Horizon 2020 programme – are exploring our options.

SponGES – Exploring the potential of deep-sea sponges

Did you know that sponges are among the oldest living animals on our planet? An international research and innovation project – SponGES – will now study the deep-sea sponge grounds in the North Atlantic. They will explore how the marine ecosystem can be preserved whilst allowing for a sustainable use of deep-sea sponges, for example, for biotechnological innovations such as new drugs or tissue engineering. Tell me more

Follow them on Twitter @DeepSea_Sponges & join them on their #spongeThursday!

AQUACROSS – For a more sustainable management of our oceans and rivers

Oceans and rivers are biodiversity hotspots – home to an array of species and habitats. Many of these ecosystems are under pressure from pollution, contamination, invasive species, overfishing and climate change. AQUACROSS seeks to develop recommendations for a sustainable management of aquatic ecosystems from source to sea. The project includes case studies, for example, in the North Sea, the Mediterranean and the Azores. Tell me more

Follow them on Twitter @AquaBiodiv

AtlantOS – Understanding the Atlantic Ocean

Climate change causes the Atlantic ocean to warm, fish population to decline, the water to become more polluted. It is therefore important to accurately observe its current condition, assess past changes and predict future developments, where possible. AtlantOS aims to do exactly that: They are working towards an integrated Atlantic Ocean Observing System to enhance our knowledge of the ocean. With 62 partners in 18 countries and more than €20 million in EU funding it's one of the largest marine research projects of recent decades. Tell me more

Follow the project on Twitter @AtlantOS_H2020

BlueNodules – Harvesting metallic rocks from the sea floor

Ever heard of polymetallic nodules? These rocks contain metals such as manganese which is essential to steel production, and they can be found in the deep ocean between 4,000 and 6,000 meters. BlueNodules is a research and innovation project to develop a deep-sea mining system for harvesting these polymetallic nodules from the sea floor with minimum environmental impact. Tell me more

ATLAS – A new deep-sea spatial management plan for Europe

How do the vulnerable Atlantic ecosystems respond to changes in climate or human use? ATLAS will study the functioning of North Atlantic deep-sea ecosystems, such as sponges and cold-water corals, to understand and predict changes. Based on the data, they will develop spatial management plans for a more sustainable use of marine resources. Tell me more

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