The European Maritime Day, the largest annual maritime conference in Europe, was held on 19 and 20 May 2014 in Bremen, Germany. The JRC moderated the high-level session on 'Innovation to promote maritime security and safety' and presented its newly developed system for sea-basin-wide maritime awareness.
The session 'Innovation to promote maritime security and safety', moderated by the JRC, looked at how innovation and technological developments could improve maritime governance and protect the EU's strategic maritime interests. The panelists discussed the challenges and new opportunities in the effective surveillance of European waters, the protection of onshore infrastructures and offshore installations, as well as the best use of existing technologies such as satellite for maritime security and safety purposes.
At a stakeholder session on 'Satellite technology for maritime security and safety', the JRC presented its ongoing work on the maritime picture for anti-piracy and sustainable fisheries. With its knowledge and expertise of technological developments in IT, miniaturisation and space, the JRC has developed and tested a system for sea-basin-wide maritime awareness that authorities in Africa can use in their fight against piracy, but also for wider maritime governance such as the monitoring of high seas fishing activity. The system developed by the JRC in the recent PMAR project (Piracy, Maritime Awareness and Risks) provides a continuous real-time update of the ship traffic activity over a wide region off the African coast (maritime picture), as well as historic ship density maps.
Blue Growth, the marine and maritime dimension of the Europe 2020 strategy, recognises that seas and oceans are drivers for the European economy with great potential for innovation and growth. To deliver growth and jobs and to make future generations enjoying the fruits of the sea as much as ourselves, the European Maritime Day focused on how innovation and maritime technologies could play a role in this challenge. Bringing together Europe's growing maritime community, industry professionals from across the EU and beyond joined policymakers to discuss, debate and exchange best practices. Participants came from ports, shipping industries, clusters, environmental associations, trade unions, scientific and research institutions, education, and local, regional, national and European authorities, amongst others.