Europe is closely interlocked with the ocean with its vast populated coastlines, marginal seas, gulfs and bays. Yet despite the immense importance of the oceans, there are still major gaps in our knowledge of the ocean interior, due to missing or insufficiently linked ocean observations. Such knowledge gaps make it difficult to assess the present ocean status, as well as predict how best to plan for future developments for a sustainable use of the oceans. An international consortium of 55 partners has now joined forces throught the EuroSea project with the aim to significantly improve ocean observation in Europe and beyond. The European Union is funding the project with a total of 12.6 million euros until 2023. Kicking off the project, 80 researchers and guests from politics and industry will meet at the opening conference at the Royal Belgium Institute for Natural Science (RBINS) in Brussels.
The EuroSea consortium partners are scientific institutions, and non-public partners from 13 European countries, Brazil and Canada. In addition, international institutions and networks such as the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) are supporting the project. Furthermore, partners from industry, for example those involved in the development of ocean observing technologies and services beyond the project are contributing.
"We want to pave the way for a sustained ocean observing system that not only provides researchers, but also users such as fisheries, aquaculture, coastal protection, offshore energy generation and ultimately the public with the information they need and demand. In doing so, we are also contributing to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, the UN Decade for Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, and the G7 Initiative Future of the Seas and Oceans" summarizes project coordinator Dr. Toste Tanhua from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel.
The project builds on its predecessor AtlantOS which aims to establish an integrated Atlantic Ocean observing system to improve ocean observations for the entire Atlantic region. EuroSea will continue this project’s work by focusing on the European seas, including the Mediterranean Sea, and its neighbours.
EMB is leading the task on Foresight on Ocean Observation in Work Package 1, in collaboration with the partners EuroGOOS, IOC-UNESCO and GEOMAR. Building on previous and ongoing work in Europe and worldwide, this task will assess the current capability for conducting foresight related to ocean observation and the crucial role that foresight plays as part of a regular, iterative cycle of a coordinated and societally-relevant ocean observing system.
More information on the EuroSea project can be found here.
Picture source: @Euro_Sea on Twitter