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EurOCEAN 2023 - One Ocean, One Mission, One Decade, One Voice

The EurOCEAN 2023 conference, co-organised by the European Marine Board, took place on 10-11 October 2023 at the Auditorio y Palacio de Congresos Mar de Vigo, Vigo, Galicia, Spain. The conference highlighted the synergies between the EU Mission: Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030, other EU research and innovation and management initiatives, and the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

"One Ocean, One Mission, One Decade - One Voice"

EurOCEAN conferences are major European marine science-policy conferences, organised every 4-5 years, and provide a forum for the marine and maritime research community and wider stakeholders to interface with European and Member State policymakers and strategic planners. As we are approaching the middle of the decade, we enter a new phase that goes from mobilization via the Mission Charter and the Ocean Decade Actions, to rallying our efforts, working together to see the impact of our collective action, and investigating how we will meet objectives for 2030. We have One Decade to accomplish One Mission. We need One Voice to achieve the One Ocean we want.

The EurOCEAN 2023 conference programme offered captivating presentations and interesting discussions between a wide variety of stakeholders on the following topics;

  • Enabling ecosystem-based management for fisheries and conservation
  • Addressing pharmaceutical pollution from inland to sea
  • Transforming ports at the interface between land, society and the Blue Economy
  • Ensuring ocean knowledge in the age of the Digital Ocean
  • Changing humanity’s relationship with the ocean: art as agent of change
  • Coastal resilience and Blue Carbon in Europe
  • What’s next: rallying actions for our Ocean and Waters

At the end of the conference, the Vigo declaration "Speaking with One Voice to achieve the One Ocean we want" was presented by Executive Director Sheila Heymans and signed by the Chairs of the organisations co-organising EurOCEAN (European Marine Board, JPI Oceans, EurOcean, EurGOOS and Euromarine). The declaration calls for integrated land-sea policies and management, sustained and better coordinated Ocean observation and increased citizen engagement.

Inspired by the conference, Carlos Botana, President of the Port Authority of Vigo, signed the EU Mission Ocean Charter, in the presence of Elisabetta Balzi, Head of Unit Healthy Seas and Ocean, DG MARE.

The EurOCEAN 2023 conference had active involvement of Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOPs) in all the sessions, as they will be responsible for dealing with the consequences of our actions in 2030. The 1st EMB Early Career Ocean Professional (ECOP) Network Forum, organised by the EMB Young Ambassadors, was held on 8-9 October 2023 in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. The reflections and recommendations from this event on future engagement of ECOPs in the science-policy sphere were presented in a key note speech during the opening session of EurOCEAN 2023 conference.

You can find out more about the EurOCEAN 2023 conference here.

The European Marine Board Members (representing over 10,000 scientists and technical staff in Europe) met on 12-13 October in Vigo to reflect on the outcomes from the EurOCEAN 2023 conference during the EMB Autumn Plenary 2023 Meeting.