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The European Marine Board (EMB) is the leading European think tank in marine science policy.
It provides a platform to advance marine research and to bridge the gap between science and policy.


6th Forum Proceedings

The 6th EMB Forum Proceedings Implementing the UN 2030 Agenda: What role for marine science? (6 December 2017, Brussels)

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6th Forum Message
Message highlighting the needs for marine science to be at the core of the ocean governance debate, and 8 specific commitments EMB is making to support future development. PDF icon PDF 2.15 MB (2.15 MB)
Marine Citizen Science: Towards an engaged and ocean literate society

Policy brief introduces what Marine Citizen Science has to offer to marine science research, marine policy and society.

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Annual Report 2016

Read about the wide spectrum of strategic activities undertaken by the EMB in 2016, bridging the gap between research, policy, industry and society.

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Marine Biotechnology: Advancing Innovation in Europe’s Bioeconomy
Policy brief showcases the latest scientific and technological advancements in marine biotechnology and explores future innovation. PDF icon PDF 1.12 MB (1.12 MB)
Advancing Citizen Science for Coastal and Ocean Research

Position paper aims to provide new ideas and directions to stimulate further advancement of Marine Citizen Science.

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Decommissioning of offshore man-made installation: Taking an ecosystem approach

Policy Brief assesses the role of marine science in reducing the impact of decommissioning offshore installations.

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The Ticking Time Bomb of Climate Change

Science Commentary questioning the over-emphasis in global policy discussions on 21st Century impacts of climate change. The short policy paper is based largely on an article published in Nature Climate Change in February 2016 by a group of scientists led by Peter U. Clark of Oregon State University, USA. The authors argue that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from human activity will remain in the atmosphere and continue to affect the Earth’s climate for tens to hundreds of thousands of years. Many of the resulting long-term impacts are now unavoidable. Sea level, in particular, exhibits a much slower response time than rises in air temperature. If we look 10,000 years into the future, it is proposed that even a modest emissions scenario will result in a global mean sea-level of rise of 28 m, causing inundation of many of the world’s most densely populated coastal cities and regions and displacing billions of people. Advances in ocean and climate modelling make it possible to look much further into the future and the picture that emerges for future generations is one of catastrophic climate change. This longer-term perspective tells us that we urgently need to move towards complete decarbonisation of the world’s energy systems. It places a much greater onus on policy makers to react to the threat of climate change, starting with meeting the ambitious targets set out in the Paris Climate Agreement. Put another way, the decisions we make in the next 10 years could profoundly affect the next 10,000.

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Annual Report 2015

Read about the wide spectrum of strategic activities undertaken by the EMB in 2015, bridging the gap between research, policy, industry and society.

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The Ocean-Climate Nexus Consensus Statement

The critical role of ocean science in responding to climate change- A call from the ocean research community

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Delving Deeper (policy brief)

Key action areas for achieving sustainable management of our deep sea through integrated research

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EurOCEAN 2014 Conference Report

Key messages from EurOCEAN 2014 – a major European marine science policy conference which took place on 7-9 October 2014 in Rome, Italy.

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Delving Deeper: Critical challenges for 21st century deep-sea research

Overarching recommendations in deep-sea research to support a sustainable blue economy.

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The Value of Membership
EMB Value Paper

Read about the benefits of being a member of EMB and review our achievements to date in our new value paper.

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Annual Report 2014

Discover EMB's structure and governance and learn about the wide spectrum of strategic activities undertaken in 2014, bridging the gap between research, policy, industry and society.

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Rome Declaration

A consensus view of the EurOCEAN 2014 participants representing that of the European marine research community and resulting from a wide consultation at national, regional, pan-European and international levels

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How our ancestors adapted to sea-level change (policy brief)

A summary of the key research needs and priorities to discover and safeguard Europe’s underwater heritage

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Land beneath the waves

State of the art, key opportunities and recommendations to advance the European Continental Shelf Prehistoric Research

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Annual Report 2013

European Marine Board Annual Report 2013 outlining EMB activities and outputs against the strategic approaches of ForumStrategySynergy and Voice

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Oceans and Human Health
Linking Oceans and Human Health: A Strategic Research Priority for Europe

Key research needs and priorities to support the development of a holistic and coherent transnational oceans and human health research effort in Europe

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Navigating the Future IV

Foresight report organized around the framework of key societal challenges in the areas of climate, human health, food security, energy and safe and sustainable use of marine space

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Marine Protected Areas
Achieving Ecologically Coherent MPA Network in Europe: Science Needs and Priorities

Science needs and priorities to inform, engage and empower stakeholders in planning networks of MPAs across Europe and beyond

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Getting Ready for an Ice-free Arctic

Science Commentary calling for a sustained Arctic marine observation and data exchange system

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Marine Biodiversity
Marine Biodiversity: A Science Roadmap for Europe

Reveals gaps in our knowledge and research capacities, examines the policy landscape and includes a roadmap for European marine biodiversity research.

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Microbial Diversity
Marine Microbial Diversity and its role in Ecosystem Functioning and Environmental Change

Highlights recent advances in marine microbial research and identifies key priorities and needs for future European research.

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Monitoring Chemical Pollution
Monitoring chemical pollution in Europe's Seas - programmes, practices and priorities for research

A critical evaluation of current monitoring practices and assessment frameworks as well as mechanisms for including emerging chemicals of concern in monitoring programmes

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Marine Biotechnology
Marine Biotechnology: a Vision and Strategy for Europe

Marine biotechnology state of the art and its significant potential to contribute to scientific, societal and economic needs; and a concrete science policy strategy

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Marine Renewable Energy

An overview of how marine renewable energy can provide innovative solutions to tackle future energy challenges and to fully contribute to the EU 2020 vision

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Ecosystem Approach to Management
Science Dimensions of an Ecosystem Approach to Management of Biotic Ocean Resources

Research priorities and a work plan to achieve the objectives of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Joint EMB-ICES-EFARO publication

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A vision for an end-to-end, integrated, inter-operable and user-oriented network of European marine observation and data systems 

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Marine Mammals and Acoustics
The Effects of Anthropogenic Sound on Marine Mammals

Addressing a complex problem of the effects of some ocean-based human activities on the marine mammals, who rely heavily on sound for communication and social organization

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Remote Sensing
Remote Sensing of Shelf Sea Ecosystems

Summary of capabilities of satellite RS methodologies and their weaknesses, and a set of recommendations to maximise their effectiveness in monitoring shelf sea ecosystems

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Ocean Research Fleets
European Ocean Research Fleets - Towards a Common Strategy and Enhanced Use

An inventory and description of the existing fleets, and recommendations on their enhanced use and management at pan-European level

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Towards ERA
Towards a European Marine Research Area

The Marine Board strategic marine science plan for Europe, integrating all relevant dimensions of the natural and social sciences and the concerns of all end users of European seas.

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EOOS holds its first Forum

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

On 8 March 2018, the European Ocean Observing System (EOOS) initiative held its first Forum in Brussels. This brought together more than 80 ocean observing stakeholders from across Europe to discuss critical components of the European ocean observing system and ways to improve the existing coordination efforts. EOOS is a community-driven framework jointly driven by EuroGOOS and the European Marine Board (EMB), in collaboration with experts and advisers from many regional, national and pan-European organizations across the ocean observing value chain. The EMB (as co-Chairs of the EOOS Steering Group) were involved in the organization and running of the event.  EMB Executive Director Sheila Heymans stated in her closing remarks that “2018 is a crucial year for EOOS and it’s great to see the wider community engaging and shaping the future planning.” A draft Strategy and Implementation Plan 2018-2022 is in preparation by the EOOS Steering Group. The recent Forum was an important step to move this forward. An open stakeholder consultation will follow in Spring 2018. Following community feedback, the Strategy and Implementation Plan will be launched at the EOOS Conference on 21-23 November 2018 in Brussels. Conference registration is open and is free at no charge.

The “most intelligent picture” in marine science?

Monday, 19 February 2018

Strongly advocating for a Mission Ocean under the upcoming ninth framework programme for research and innovation (FP9), the European Marine Board has begun the work on the new instalment of its flagship series, Navigating the Future V (NFV). This position paper will provide robust, independent scientific advice and expert opinion on future seas and Ocean research to 2030 and beyond.

On 8-9 November 2017, the NFV Foresight Workshop took place at the Hôtel Métropole Brussels, a historical hotel that hosted in 1911 the first international Physics Solvay Congress. That same conference led in 1927 to “the most intelligent picture ever taken”, where 17 of the 29 attendees were or became Nobel Prize winners, including Einstein, Bohr, Skłodowska-Curie, Planck, Schrödinger, Heisenberg and Auguste Piccard. The latter built the Bathyscaphe Trieste, the underwater vehicle that brought his son Jacques Picard and the American mariner Don Walsh to the very depth of the Challenger Deep. Auguste Piccard inspired the Belgian cartoonist Hergé, the author of The Adventures of Tintin, for the character Professor Calculus, the inventor of the “shark-proof submarine”, the famous submarine appearing on the cover of the volume 12 of the series: Red Rackham's Treasure.

The experts of the EMB identified 5 key areas of marine science, during the NFV Foresight Workshop in November 2017, to guide both the research and the science policy agendas at European and national level:

  • Improve knowledge of the 4-Dimensional Ocean (a volume that changes in the time dimension) and its role in the earth and climate system, including the human component;
  • Assess impacts of multiple and cumulative human stressors to the dynamic, non-linear and rapidly changing Ocean system;
  • Improve understanding and predictability of extreme events through an integrated approach, including natural hazards and climate induced impacts affecting the Ocean;
  • Advance capabilities in ocean technologies leading to wider developments in Information Technology and Artificial Intelligence;
  • Foster sustainability science integrated with marine science as a core component of natural and social sciences.

The European Marine Board (EMB) is in dialogue with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO to consider these 5 key areas of marine science and promote holistic and integrated approaches to develop the common Implementation Plan for the UN ‘Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)’.

Keep track on developments about Navigating the Future here and a news release can also be found here.

EMB releases 6th Forum Message

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Integration, capacity-building and engagement in science, along with science-based societal debate, are key to support the Sustainable Development Goals, and the European Marine Board is committed to help in achieving this. EMB is releasing the 6th Forum Message highlighting the needs for marine science to be at the core of the ocean governance debate, and also presenting 8 specific commitments that EMB is making to underpin those needs and support future development. This Message outlines the marine science needs at the core of the ocean governance debate. The Message also presents 8 specific commitments that EMB is making to underpin development ocean governance and the integration of marine science within it. The Message can be downloaded here, and a news release can also be found here.

This Message stems from the 6th Forum Event which EMB held on 6 December 2017 that in Brussels, on the topic of “Implementing the UN 2030 Agenda: What role for Marine Science?”. In answer to this question, the main message of the Forum was that the role of marine science should be to provide a solid and sound evidence base to enable science-based societal debate on the future direction of ocean governance. Speakers, panelists and attendees alike also highlighted the importance of integration, moving away from silo thinking and towards greater collaboration among stakeholders to address the upcoming challenges. They also added to the growing voice calling for greater engagement of marine science with society, and improved ocean literacy. More information about the event, including the presentations given, can be found here.

EMB welcomes new Executive Director Prof. Sheila Heymans

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Today, the EMB Secretariat welcomes Prof. Sheila Heymans as the new EMB Executive Director. Prof. Heymans previously worked as a Head of Science at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) where she focused her research on the social, economic and ecological impacts of fishing in the world’s ocean. She has over 20 years’ experience in scientific research and education, with a focus on utilizing ecosystem modelling approaches to study environmental impacts of fisheries and ecosystem change. Prof. Heymans was already actively involved with EMB over the past months as she co-chairs of the running Working Group on Marine Ecosystem Modelling and attended the workshop on Navigating the Future V and the Autumn Plenary meeting.

6th EMB Forum on the Role of Marine Science

Wednesday, 06 December 2017

Today, over 150 participants from Europe and beyond gather in the Royal Flemish Academy for Science and the Arts in Brussels to attend the 6th EMB Forum - Implementing the UN 2030 Agenda: What role for marine science? Speakers and participants from a wide range of backgrounds and stakeholder groups will discuss the role that marine science does and should play in international ocean governance, and the ways in which science could help to improve the institutional frameworks.

Moderated by BBC Journalist Quentin Cooper, the programme will encourage all attendees to engage in this critical and timely debate. The full agenda can be seen here, and the speaker profiles can be found here. Following this Forum event, EMB will take forward the key messages, highlights and recommendation and publish these in a Forum Message. More information will be posted here in due course.

You can join the conversation by following us on twitter @EMarineBoard, and by using #EMBForum. More information on the Forum can be found here.

New EU Project on Ocean and Human Health

Thursday, 23 November 2017

We are delighted to announce that EMB will be participating in a new Horizon 2020 Framework Project to further research into the links between Ocean and Human Health. Led by the University of Exeter Medical School and with 2 million Euros of funding, the Seas, Oceans and Public Health in Europe (SOPHIE) project launches in December 2017 and will run for 2.5 years.

The project will deliver a clear road map for the future direction of Oceans and Human Health research in Europe, and builds on the recommendations of the European Marine Board Position Paper on “Linking Oceans and Human Health” and the calls outlined in the Message from Bedruthan. It also aims to build a diverse network of stakeholders across Europe involved in Oceans and Human Health, and to create a legacy that will advance this field across the world and beyond the end of the Project.

SOPHIE will explore the complex interplay between the health of the marine environment and that of humans, and through a series of forums and events, aims to build a network of researchers and practitioners from two traditionally distinct groups; marine and maritime specialists; and the medical and public health community.

The project consortium includes 8 partners from academia, small and medium sized businesses, and government, with the team holding particular expertise in developing and implementing public health and environmental policies. More information will be posted online in due course. A press release with more details can be downloaded here.