Marine leaders discuss seabed mapping and ocean observation

Commissioner Vella with CEOs and representatives of European Marine Board member institutes (Photo: European Marine Board)
Commissioner Vella with CEOs and representatives of European Marine Board members (Photo: European Marine Board)

Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries is meeting with ocean research leaders at the European Marine Board offices in Ostend, Belgium, today to discuss ocean research challenges.

The meeting with Commissioner Vella follows on from a previous consultation, held in March, which identified ocean observation and seabed mapping as crucially important for managing human activities in European seas and across the global ocean.

Today’s meeting is expected to advance the discussions on ocean observing and seabed mapping in Europe, set within a global context, by identifying critical gaps in capability, investment needs and potential funding sources for the future, Marine Board informed.

“The ocean research community in Europe has led the development of ocean observing technologies and programmes which deliver valuable data for a range of scientific, commercial and public users. But there are big gaps in the system.

“Commissioner Vella is showing his commitment in advocating for adequate investment for ocean research and technology development and we welcome the opportunity to present the views of the marine research community to the Commissioner and his team,”explained Niall McDonough, Executive Secretary of the European Marine Board.

Peter Heffernan, Marine Institute of Ireland CEO, said: “Ocean observation and seabed mapping are essential for managing human activities in the ocean. With better observation and prediction capability, we can de-risk investment, we can have well informed licensing and regulation for sustainable economic developments, and we can protect ocean ecosystems and the essential services they provide.”

The meeting with Commissioner Vella marks the second in a series and is an important platform for the ocean research community to communicate directly with the Commissioner on ocean research issues.

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