The health of humans and of the ocean are inextricably linked. Humans can gain benefits from the oceans and its ecosystem services including food and energy, but their health can also be at risk from aspects such as storms and pollution. In turn, the health of the ocean can be significantly impacted by human activity, and therefore a balance needs to be sought to safeguard the health of both. However at present, there is no policy at national or European level that explicitly addresses Oceans and Human Health (OHH).
This brief summarises the policy challenges when attempting to address both ocean and human health together, and the cooperation and research needed to enable those challenges to be addressed. It proposes way in which the existing regulatory framework could be adapted to incorporate OHH. It also provides recommendations relating to data and indicators, monitoring, funding and training.
This brief is built on the recommendations highlighted throughout the course of the SOPHIE project, especially those presented in two project outputs: the Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) for Oceans and Human Health in Europe, and the policy report, which examines how regulatory strategies and tools linked to the EU Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP) relate to Oceans and Human Health.