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Top Experts Call for European Marine Science & Technology Strategy

Experts in marine science and policy from all over Europe, meeting at the EurOCEAN 2007 Conference in Aberdeen on 22nd June, agreed that economic development, environmental management, and the study of rapid climate change would all benefit from a comprehensive European Marine Science and Technology Strategy, necessary to support the planned European Maritime Policy.

Opening the event EU Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Dr. Joe Borg stated “…only excellence in marine research and technology would allow us to deliver the goal of a thriving maritime economy and the realisation of the full potential of sea-based activities in an environmentally sustainable manner”.

The “Aberdeen Declaration” issued by the Conference, calls for the development of a co-ordinated approach to marine science across Europe, fundamental to secure support for the implementation of recommendations in the EU Green Paper “Towards a Future Maritime Policy for the Union: A European Vision for the Oceans and Seas”.

The Aberdeen Declaration is an evolution from a similar Declaration, adopted in Galway at EurOCEAN 2004 (an Ireland’s EU Presidency event sponsored by the European Commission, the Marine Institute, and the Marine Board – European Science Foundation), which was instrumental in securing marine science and technology as a priority cross-cutting theme in the EU 7th Framework Programme for research funding.

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The conference delegates believe that such a Research Strategy will contribute significantly to the quality of life in Europe by providing the supporting science and technology for a comprehensive EU maritime policy. It will also allow Europe to increase its share of the estimated €4,360 billion global maritime market economy through the development of innovative marine and environmental technologies. These include: marine biotechnology, renewable ocean energy systems, novel maritime and transportation approaches, innovative ocean observation systems and associated technologies, marine leisure and tourism and the sustainable use of biological resources.

The EurOCEAN 2007 Conference, chaired by the Marine Board – ESF Chair Mr. Lars Horn, (jointly organised by the Marine Board and the Commission) was attended by some 200 representatives of the international marine and maritime science and technology community, policy makers, representatives of non-Government organisations and other key stakeholders from over twenty countries worldwide, including China, Russia and the Unites States. Delegates came together to formulate views and propose strategic initiatives regarding the role of science and technology in achieving the goals of the EU Maritime Policy according to the Mission Statement;

“An all embracing maritime policy aimed at developing a dynamic maritime economy in harmony with the marine environment, supported by sound marine science and technology, which allows human beings to continue to reap the rich harvest from the oceans in a sustainable manner”.

Towards a future Maritime Policy for the Union: A European Vision for the Seas and Oceans (2006).

Thomas Lau | alfa
Further information:

Further reports about: Marine Strategy maritime

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