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EMB presents Rome Declaration and contributes to panel discussion on effective science-policy interface at the 2nd International Ocean Research Conference (17-21 November, Barcelona)

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

TodayNiall at IORC, Niall McDonough, Executive Secretary of the European Marine Board is presenting the Rome Declaration at the 2nd International Ocean Research Conference in Barcelona. Niall is also part of a panel discussing successful science-policy interface. Titled ‘The science-policy interface: Scientists communicating with Decision-Makers’, the purpose of the panel is to compare approaches and success stories from across the globe regarding how to make science understandable to those who make decisions about ocean management. The active involvement of end users of scientific information, including resource managers, policy-makers, and individual citizens enhances the impact and value of research initiatives. Therefore, effective science-policy interface is critical to protecting ocean resources. Other panelists include Alan Simcock (World Ocean Assessment, UK), Carol Turley (Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK) and David Vander Zwaag (Dalhousie University, Canada).

EMB WG Deep Seas host stakeholder event ‘Balancing blue growth and sustainability in the deep sea’ (13-14 November, Lisbon)

Friday, 14 November 2014

WG Deep Sea wrap-upOn 13-14 November 2014, deep-sea experts from academia, industry and NGO sectors are meeting at the University of Lisbon for the final meeting of the EMB Working Group Deep Seas. The working group is assessing European and national investment in deep-sea research together with identifying future needs, gaps and priorities that will drive a new era of discovery and understanding of this vast, largely unknown ecosystem into the next decade. Such fundamental knowledge is also crucial for a growing deep-sea user community to underpin ecosystem-based management of deep sea resources in light of emerging commercial activities such as deep sea mining. In a round-table discussion, stakeholders assessed the need to balance blue growth with sustainability in the deep sea, noting the crucial role of deep-sea research as the evidence base for establishing baselines, monitoring impact and informing sustainability goals for the deep ocean and high seas. This interdisciplinary working group will deliver a EMB position paper in 2015 with recommendations for developing a deep-sea research strategy for Europe in the context of societal challenges and policy needs.

Picture features (top row, left to right): Marina Cunha (University of Aveiro), Pierre-Marie Sarradin (Ifremer), Henry Ruhl (NOC, Southampton), Bruno Sommer Ferreira (Biotrend), Fernando Barriga (University of Lisbon), Alf Håkon Hoel (IMR), Ralph Spickerman (UK Seabed Resources), Sybille van den Hove (MEDIAN SCP), Gui Menezes (University of the Azores), Niall McDonough (EMB), (bottom row left to right): Helena Vieira (University of Lisbon), Colin Devey (GEOMAR), Alex Rogers (University of Oxford), Kate Larkin (EMB), Monica Verbeek (Seas at Risk), Mário Ruivo (FCT). 

Launch of EMB Position Paper on Submerged Landscapes and Underwater Cultural Heritage

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

SUBLANDThe European Marine Board launched its 21st position paper, ‘Land Beneath the Waves, Submerged landscapes and sea level change’, during its 15 year anniversary celebration in Rome as a side event of the EurOCEAN 2014 conference on 7 October. The paper, written jointly by experts from geoscience and humanities disciplines, highlights the importance of exploring sea-submerged human settlements and provides recommendations for the new scientific field termed ‘European Continental Shelf Prehistoric Research’. Dr. Nicholas Flemming of the UK National Oceanography Centre chaired the Working Group, comprising experts from 11 European nations. During a presentation of the paper at the launch event Dr. Flemming highlighted that more than 2,500 submerged prehistoric artefact assemblages, ranging in age from 5,000 to 300,000 years, have been found in the coastal waters and open sea basins around Europe, yet few have been properly mapped by divers, or assessed for preservation or excavation. The new position paper provides a comprehensive overview of recent progress in the study of our submerged cultural heritage and sets out key research questions and policy priorities needed to support this research in the future. Download the press release here. Picture features (from back left): Gilles Lericolais, Alar Rosentau, Alan Stevenson, Francesco Chiocci, Ricardo Serrão Santos, Sigi Gruber, Tine Missiaen, Nan-Chin Chu, Jan Mees, (from front left): Niall McDonough, Dimitris Sakellariou, Nicholas Flemming.

Rome Declaration presented at EurOCEAN 2014 (9 October, Rome)

Thursday, 09 October 2014

photoToday, the Rome Declaration was presented at the EurOCEAN 2014 conference, an official event of the Italian EU Presidency. Setting a vision for seas and ocean science to achieve an ecosystem approach to the management of Europe’s marine resources as a fundamental requirement for sustainable Blue Growth, the Rome Declaration sets out four high level goals and associated actions for delivering this vision. The four goals comprise: Valuing the Ocean; Capitalizing on European leadership; Advancing ocean knowledge and; Breaking barriers. ‘It’s a vision that is about connecting science, policy and people’, stated Professor Ed Hill, Chair of the Rome Declaration Drafting Group, during the presentation of the Declaration. Some 340 European scientists, policymakers and other experts representing 143 organizations from 31 countries attended EurOCEAN 2014. Picture features (from left): Ed Hill, Chair of the Rome Declaration Drafting Group, Mauro Bertelletti, Italian Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policy, Rudolf Strohmeier, Deputy Director General of the European Commission DG Research and Innovation, Ricardo Santos, Member of the European Parliament, and Jan Mees, Chair of the European Marine Board.

Draft Rome Declaration released for on-line consultation (19 – 29 September)

Friday, 19 September 2014

An advanced drEurOCEAN2014 craft of the Rome Declaration has been released on the EurOCEAN 2014 website for a ten-day open consultation. The Rome Declaration, a key output of EurOCEAN 2014, aims to deliver a common vision on achieving an ecosystem approach to the management of Europe’s marine resources as a fundamental requirement for sustainable Blue Growth. The Declaration will reiterate the importance of marine research on the policy agenda. Key to the success of the Declaration is support from EurOCEAN 2014 participants and the wider marine science community. The current draft was developed by a group of recognized experts in marine science and policy and representatives of the European Commission. The draft Rome Declaration is available at Feedback and support for the Rome Declaration should be sent by email to the European Marine Board Secretariat at by 29 September 2014. Registration for EurOCEAN 2014 is open until 30 September.

WG Marine Graduate Training kick-off meeting (15-16 September, Ghent)

Monday, 15 September 2014

Today and toWG cropped compressedmorrow, the kick off meeting of EMB's expert group on Marine Graduate Training (WG Training) is taking place in Ghent, Belgium. The meeting is hosted by Prof. Magda Vincx, the Chair of the expert group in the venue 'Het Pand' at the University of Ghent. Eleven experts in marine graduate training will address the current graduate training landscape in marine science with a focus on identifying major shortcomings, hurdles and solutions. At the kick-off meeting the group will take part in a brainstorming session regarding the structure and scope of the future policy paper that will be prepared by WG Training members. Working group members will also discuss consultation with additional expertise from key stakeholders such as relevant DG's from the European Commission and future employers within both academia and industry.

EMBCP takes part in IMSCC 2014 (8-9 September, Porto)

Tuesday, 09 September 2014

JanSeysPortoSept2014The European Marine Board Communication Panel (EMBCP) is currently taking part in the 1st International Marine Science Communication Conference (IMSCC 2014) in Porto. The conference aims to highlight new tools and practices for scientists and marine science communicators in developing their skills and improving dialogue with a range of target audiences including the general public and decision-makers. The concept of a conference dedicated to marine science communication was first proposed by the EMBCP. As a result, IMSCC 2014 has been jointly organized by CIIMAR (Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research of the University of Porto), the EMBCP and Ciência Viva (Portuguese National Agency for Scientific and Technological Culture). Presentations and workshops cover a broad spectrum of marine science communication issues including the use of tools such as social media and infographics, tips for dealing with the media and case studies of successful outreach programmes employing best practice. The full programme is available on the IMSCC 2014 website. 
Featured on the picture: Jan Seys, EMBCP Chair/VLIZ, Belgium (right), speaking at the opening of IMSCC 2014.

Sea Tech Week (13-17 October 2014, Brest, France)

Wednesday, 03 September 2014

SeaTechWeekSea Tech Week, held in Brest every two years, brings together international experts from a diverse range of disciplines associated with the marine science and technology sector. Researchers, economists, legal experts and representatives of industry and institutions meet to provide an update on the latest scientific discoveries, technological advances as well as economic and legal issues. Sea Tech Week provides a unique forum for exchange, which is further enhanced by parallel sessions, workshops, professional trade fair and technology presentations. Sea Tech Week 2014 (13-17 October) will focus in particular on deep sea challenges, through the organization of the main conference Deep Blue Days. More information and registration at:

EurOCEAN 2014 programme now online

Tuesday, 12 August 2014


The programme for the EurOCEAN 2014 conference is now available on the website. An official event of the Italian EU Presidency, EurOCEAN 2014 will provide a valuable opportunity for interaction and exchange between European marine and maritime research actors, stakeholders, policy makers and programme managers. The conference will identify future research priorities in support of blue growth, human health and wellbeing, and sustainable management of coastal seas and oceans.

With a varied and stimulating programme running over 2½ days, EurOCEAN 2014 will include:

  • Horizon-scanning presentations from leading European and international scientists;
  • Focused discussion sessions on societal, policy and regional challenges including Seas and Ocean Resources, Blue Growth, Good Environmental Status and Oceans and Human Health;
  • Dialogue on capacity building and research infrastructures, including a special session on the European Ocean Observing System dedicated to the memory of Kostas Nittis;
  • A Mediterranean Roundtable, side events and an open panel discussion moderated by Quentin Cooper, BBC Radio 4 science presenter;
  • Identification of emerging challenges and opportunities in seas and oceans research and adoption of a "Rome Declaration"

Registration for EurOCEAN 2014 is open until 30 Sept. 2014. For further information, please visit the EurOCEAN website. For specific enquiries please contact the organizing committee by email

In memoriam of Kostas Nittis

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Kotas NittisThe members and Secretariat of the European Marine Board are greatly saddened by the untimely passing of our former Chair, Kostas Nittis. Representing his home institution, the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research in Greece, Kostas was an active EMB delegate for many years and was elected Chair in 2011. He served three years in this role with distinction, stepping down in May 2014. Among his many achievements, he led the complex process of drafting the Ostend Declaration (2010) and delivery of the Board’s Navigating the Future IV position paper (2013).
A distinguished oceanographer, Kostas was appointed Secretary General of the EuroGOOS network in 2012. But his sphere of influence extended well beyond his own research field. Through participation in multiple projects and networks, he was a leading figure in Europe for the promotion of marine science and setting the marine research agenda. Those fortunate to have known and worked with Kostas will remember his wisdom, integrity, diplomacy and a steady calmness which concealed a determination to effect positive change. Kostas will be hugely missed by an extensive network of friends and colleagues throughout Europe and beyond. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family at this difficult time.