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EMB European Scientific Diving Panel meet in Brussels (20 October, Brussels)

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Today, the European Scientific Diving Panel (ESDP) chaired by Dr. Martin Sayer from the Scottish Association for Marine Science in the UK, is meeting in Brussels for its 15th Plenary Meeting. As a panel of the European Marine Board, the ESDP acts as an operational platform to advance underwater scientific excellence and to promote and implement a practical support framework for scientific diving related activities. ESDP members from the UK, Belgium, France, Greece, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Italy and Portugal will share national updates in the field of scientific diving and will also discuss upcoming events such as the 2nd European Conference on Scientific Diving that will take place 9-11 May 2016 at the Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. The theme of the conference is coastal research using scientific diving.

Picture features: Top row from left to right – Thanos Dailianis (Greece), Jean-Pierre Féral (France), Alain Norro (Belgium), Martin Sayer (Chair – UK), Michael Schmidt (Germany). Seated row, left to right –  Noémie Wouters (EMB), Jouni Leinikki (Finland), Maria Asplund (Sweden) Skype Image: Massimo Ponti (Italy) 

EMB Autumn Plenary Meeting (14-15 October, Split)

Friday, 16 October 2015

The EMB Autumn Plenary took place over two days in Split, Croatia. The meeting, hosted by the Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, brought together 26 EMB delegates as well as guests from the European Commission, JPI Oceans, ICES, IUCN, EurOcean and the Pelagic Freezer-Trawler Association. The meeting included a Special Session on New paradigms in science-based fisheries management, with talks from Nedo Vrgoč (Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, Croatia), Kenneth Patterson (EC DG MARE), Yvonne Walther (ICES Science Committee), Martin Pastoors (Pelagic Freezer-trawler Association, the Netherlands) and Serge Garcia (Fisheries Expert Group of the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management). Young researchers from the Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, Croatia, provided flash presentations on their current research, covering the study of meteorological tsunamis, Adriatic ichthyofauna and Anisakis, a genus of parasitic nematodes. The Autumn Plenary evening lecture focused on the Marine Strategy Framework Directive’s descriptors of Good Environmental Status and was presented by Ferdinando Boero, Professor of Zoology at the University of Salento, Italy. You can read more about the highlights of the Autumn Plenary here.

Action on marine litter and deep-sea mining prioritized at meeting of G7 Science Ministers (8 – 9 October, Berlin)

Friday, 09 October 2015

The 2015 meeting of the G7 science ministers and EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, took place in Berlin, 8-9 October, hosted by Germany who have held presidency since June 2014. The G7, comprising the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom, meet annually to discuss issues such as global economic governance, international security, and energy policy. This year, the four priorities discussed at the G7 meeting of the science ministers were: poverty-related infectious diseases, clean energy, research infrastructure and the future of the seas. Under the topic of the future of the seas, particular attention was paid to marine litter and deep-sea mining, previously identified as challenges to the preservation and sustainable use of the marine environment by G7 Leaders at the G7 summit in June. Acknowledging existing activities by organisations such as JPI-Oceans and work under the Galway Statement initiative, the G7 science ministers committed to coordinating with the G7 countries on the G7 Action Plan to Combat Marine Litter. The plan includes strengthening research efforts to better understand the extent and impacts of plastic waste in the seas and oceans; encouraging a joint analysis identifying the priority research areas that can provide options to reduce the intrusion of plastics in the seas and oceans and; encouraging the development of a concerted interdisciplinary research, education, and literacy programme. In accordance with the findings of EMB’s recent position paper 22 on deep-sea research, the ministers acknowledged that not enough is known about the impacts of deep-sea mining on deep-sea ecosytems and habitats and encouraged further research in this area. The next meeting of the G7 science ministers takes place in Japan in 2016.

EMBCP holds Marine Science Communication Workshop at EMSEA 2015 (28 September – 1 October, Crete)

Thursday, 01 October 2015

The European Marine Board Communications Panel (EMBCP) were well represented at the recent EMSEA 2015 conference (European Marine Science Educators Association), 28 September – 1 October at the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Crete. The focus of EMSEA 2015 was how Ocean Literacy is being incorporated into formal and informal education and shaping the way forward for Ocean Literacy in Europe and beyond. As part of the conference, the EMBCP ran a marine science communication workshop. Titled ‘Speed Course in Marine Science Communication’, the workshop was targeted at young marine scientists that are tasked with communication activities that they have often not been trained for. The aim of the workshop was to lay the foundations for science communications expertise and specifically dealt with the following four challenges: organizing public events, dealing with the media, the use of social media and citizen science projects.  

WG SUBLAND in the Parliament

Monday, 28 September 2015

European Marine Board former Vice Chair, Prof. Ricardo Serrão Santos MEP, is hosting a scientific briefing (Thursday 1 October) at the European Parliament on underwater cultural heritage organized by the European Commission and UNESCO. The work from EMB WG SUBLAND is listed as references to this information meeting. Several working group experts and scientists from the community will attend and discuss with policy makers about its protection and opportunities (further information pdf).

Launch of Ocean Literacy animation developed by EMB and CoExploration Ltd. for Sea Change Project

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Today, an animation on Ocean Literacy developed by EMB and CoExploration Ltd., was launched on the Sea Change website. The short animation titled, ‘Sea Change-Increasing Ocean Literacy’,  introduces the concept of Ocean Literacy and outlines the medical, economic, social, and environmental importance of the sea to Europe and indeed to the rest of the world. The video highlights the importance of protecting the ocean by making choices that are more “ocean-friendly”. The animation was produced for the Sea Change project, an EU Horizon 2020-funded project which aims to raise European citizens’ awareness of the intrinsic links between ocean and human health, and to empower us, as Ocean Literate citizens, to take direct and sustainable action towards a healthy ocean and seas, healthy communities and ultimately a healthy planet. The Sea Change partnership are designing Ocean Literacy related activities and materials focused on education, community, and governance actors, and directly targeted at citizens. This animation is one of the first outputs of Sea Change and will be used throughout the project. You can watch the “Sea Change: Increasing Ocean Literacy” video below and subscribe to the Sea Change Vimeo channel at



The Ocean-Climate Nexus Forum at a 'ciné-débat'

Friday, 18 September 2015

The coming film 'Ice & Sky' featured an ex-member of European Committee for Ocean and Polar Sciences (ECOPS, root of today's EMB, see history), Claude Lorius, glaciologist. EMB Secretariat (Nan-Chin Chu) will take part in its footage preview and discussion at Cinema Vendôme in Brussels on 21 September (info) as part of an 'ocean-climate awareness' event organized by Surfrider Foundation Europe (programme pdf). The EMB 5th Forum Ocean-Climate Nexus initiative will be presented in this science-policy-citizen dialogue event.   See website for more information about the EMB 5th Forum on 21 October at the European Parliament.

Norway to promote its marine research in Brussels

Tuesday, 08 September 2015

Two forthcoming events will provide science stakeholders in Brussels an insight into Norwegian marine research and how it contributes to European policy objectives. On 20 October 2015, the Institute of Marine Research will showcase its research with a seminar at Norway House on “New Frontiers for Blue Growth.” A programme for the morning event and instructions on how to register are available here.

Three other Norwegian research institutes will soon increase their voice in Brussels with the opening of a joint office on Rue du Trone. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU Oceans), the University of Bergen and SINTEF will mark the occasion with a series of seminars on 22-23 September (view programme). To register for the ocean Science and Technology Workshop complete the online survey.

Launch of EMB Position Paper on deep-sea research

Tuesday, 01 September 2015

Today the European Marine Board launched its 22nd position paper, Delving Deeper: Critical challenges for 21st century deep-sea research at an official side event of the 14th Deep Sea Biology Symposium in Aveiro, Portugal. The paper is the output of the EMB Working Group “Deep Seas" and outlines 8 goals and key action areas to address research challenges in the deep sea. The Working Group brought together 14 experts from 8 countries with expertise ranging from natural science, socioeconomics and law and the study also consulted the wider stakeholder community on the deep-sea research landscape and investments across Europe.

The Launch included interventions by MEP Prof. Ricardo Serrão Santos, Consultant to the President of Portugal on the Environment, Science and the Sea Dr. Tiago Pitta e Cunha and a presentation by Working Group Chair, Prof. Alex Rogers, University of Oxford. The press release is available online.

EMB delegate Mário Ruivo amongst the 2015 European Citizen Prize laureates

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Congratulations to Mário Ruivo (EMB delegate, FCT, Portugal) for being among those awarded with this year’s European Citizen Prize. The Citizen Prize honours people from across the EU for their contribution to European cooperation and the promotion of common values. Mário Ruivo is an oceanographer and leading figure in international political and civic fora for the ocean, dedicated to promoting national and international programmes for sustainability of the oceans. In addition to representing FCT on the European Marine Board, he works as Head of the Ministry for Education and Science’s Intersectorial Oceans Commissions.