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Policy Needs for Oceans and Human Health

This Policy Brief highlights the inextricable links between oceans health and human health. It presents the main challenges in moving towards a European policy framework that supports and enables Oceans and Human Health to be addressed in a holistic manner. It highlights the research, training, data, monitoring and funding needs to enable such a policy framework to be developed. This publication was produced together with the EU-funded SOPHIE project. Learn more




Next Generation European Research Vessels: Current Status and Foreseeable Evolution

The ocean is intrinsically linked to many of the global challenges facing the world, including climate change, food and water security, and health, and we will require better understanding of the ocean and its ecosystems to develop and adapt. As key marine science research infrastructures, research vessels play a key role in supporting and enabling this critical research. It is therefore vital to have a clear overview of the current research vessels fleet, its capabilities and its equipment, and hence its ability to support these science needs. It is also appropriate to take a strategic look forward to emerging and future needs, so that steps can be taken to ensure that the fleet remains able to provide this support. It is also important that this critical importance of research vessels is clearly and widely communicated, to ensure that the appropriate support is made available to ensure they can continue to provide a high level of support to science.

This publication presents an overview of the current fleet, its capabilities and equipment, and its management. It then looks to the future, highlighting what will be needed to ensure that the European fleet can continue to provide the same high level of support to science, in particular in specialized areas such as the deep-sea and Polar regions. It also goes beyond the fleet itself, to consider the training of fleet personnel, fleet management, and the role of research vessels in the wider context of ocean observations and the European Ocean Observing System (EOOS). It also explores ways in which greater efficiencies could be achieved at local, regional and European scale, to ensure the best possible use is made of these infrastructures. This publication is the result of a collaboration with the European Research Vessel Operators.

You can find the fact sheet for this publication here, see the news item about its launch here, and find out more about our work on European research vessels here.

Navigating the Future V

The future we want requires a healthy ocean and the sustainable use of marine resources. However, the ocean is under threat from multiple interacting stressors. Moreover, we are still developing the scientific knowledge base and technology to fully explore, understand, observe and predict the ocean and the effect of human activities. NFV proposes the science we need for the forthcoming UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), the next European Framework Programme, Horizon Europe, and its “Mission on Healthy Oceans, Seas, Coastal and Inland Waters.”

NFV recommends a solutions-oriented, transdisciplinary marine research agenda, co-designed with all stakeholders and with the governance of sustainability at its core. It should address the following key knowledge gaps and actions:

The four-dimensional ocean i.e. a three-dimensional volume that changes over space and time. An interdisciplinary research program on ocean connectivity is needed including more knowledge of the functional links that connect the components of the marine system, i.e. physics, chemistry, biology, geology, ecology and humans. The four-dimensional structure and function of marine ecosystems should be better integrated into management and conservation practices;

Multiple stressors (e.g. climate change, pollution, overfishing) and their impact on the functioning of marine ecosystems, including their interactions, evolution and adaptation over time. Quantitative models that include uncertainties and that help develop early-warning indicators for multiple stressors and approaching tipping points should be used in combination with observations and experiments;

Climate-related extreme events and geohazards including marine heat waves, storm surges, meteotsunamis and submarine earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions and their associated tsunamis. We need to better understand their characteristics, probability, impacts and potential changes under climate change. An early-warning system for these events that will include enhanced observations, modelling and forecasting is a priority;

Ocean technologies, modelling, data and artificial intelligence needed to understand, predict and manage human impacts on the ocean. This includes the Ocean Internet of Things where next-generation ocean observations are transferred in real-time to communication networks combined with enhanced local data processing i.e. machine learning and artificial intelligence. A virtual reality ocean platform would enable all information to be uploaded and visible to the public in real-time. A key priority is the development of a business model ensuring the long-term economic sustainability of ocean observations that involves co-design with all stakeholders; and

Sustainability science for the ocean. A new generation of sustainability scientists needs to be trained to focus on a holistic vision of the marine ecosystem. We also need to establish a sustainability forum within Europe bringing together all actors including industry and civil society. Marine citizen science is a priority for enhancing public understanding of the ocean as a common good whose health is crucial for humanity.

The report was a collaborative effort starting in November 2017 with a planning meeting of 19 leading European marine scientists to decide the high-level content. Larger collaborative working groups with representatives from 13 European countries then worked to identify knowledge gaps and draft the recommendations of the report.

Download the one-page factsheet for policy makers here and infographics here. You can also find video infographics and NFV perspective videos on the EMB YouTube channel.

-----The European Marine Board (EMB) will launch its flagship publication, Navigating the Future V (NFV), at the EurOCEAN 2019 conference. Navigating the Future V describes what marine science will look like in the future (2030 and beyond). It identifies key themes that will significantly advance our understanding of the marine and broader earth and climate systems. NFV will provide robust, independent scientific advice and expert opinion and be of increasing importance to societal wellbeing in decades to come.

EurOCEAN 2019 is co-organised by European Marine Board, the European Commission and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO.

Register now for participating at EurOCEAN 2019 (early-bird registration rate till 14 April 2019).

More information, including the draft programme, can be found at the official website for the conference: http://www.euroceanconferences.eu/eurocean-2019



Aix Marseille University
Sorbonne University
Université de Bordeaux
Université de Brest
Université de Bretagne Sud
Université de Caen
Université Côte d'Azur Nice
Université du Havre
Université de Lille
Université Littoral (Boulogne sur Mer Dunkerque)
Université de Montpellier
Université de Nantes
Université de Perpignan Via Domitia
Université de La Rochelle
Université de Toulon
Université de Toulouse 


Les travaux actuels permettent de fédérer les communautés scientifiques et de valoriser les formations d’enseignement supérieur (masters, doctorat, ..) dans des champs pluri disciplinaires : océanographie, écologie, droit, physique, biologie, économie, chimie, géologie, géographie, …












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