The European Commission set out proposals today to support "Innovation in the Blue Economy" by creating an information platform on marine research in the European Union, sharing already available data and completing a detailed sea-bed map of European waters by 2020, among other measures.
The JRC is providing support to marine and maritime policies. JRC research in this field includes trend analysis for climate change investigations, the assessment of the environmental status of marine waters and fish stocks, the provision of economic analysis of the fisheries sector or the development of new technologies and modelling approaches for sustainable fisheries. This web headline highlights some concrete examples of JRC work in this field.
In order to better understand the inner workings of the diverse seas and coastal systems in Europe and globally, the JRC has established and maintains an integrated data system which processes, analyses and archives quality-controlled satellite-derived ocean colour data products. The resulting maps on the phytoplankton biomass and carbon productivity provide useful information on the structure and functioning of the food web, from algae to commercially exploited fish populations in European seas and global oceans.
Such ocean colour data are moreover used to track the potential presence of top predators through habitat maps that are updated daily. This new JRC habitat model helps to protect endangered fish stocks and to sustainably manage fisheries. The tool provides daily, monthly, seasonal and annual maps for more than a decade of potential feeding habitat of predators such as the Atlantic bluefin tuna, the European hake and fin whale in the Mediterranean Sea.
The JRC collects and maintains fisheries data reported by the EU Member States under the Data Collection Framework (DCF). The resulting datasets are used by the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) to provide scientific advice in the decision making process related to the Common Fisheries Policy. Through the new JRC “Scientific Fisheries Data dissemination tool” the scientific community, policy makers and authorities have access to online fisheries data about catches, fishing effort and the fishing fleet that so far have been available only in aggregated and text format in the STECF reports.