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Atlantic Marine Research Plan Now Online

20th December 2013
Atlantic Marine Research Plan Now Online

#MarineScience - The EU FP7 SEAS-ERA Marine Research Plan for the European Atlantic Sea Basin - Towards a Strategic Research Agenda/Marine Research Plan for the European Atlantic Sea Basin - is now available to view and download online.

The report proposes a vision for each of eight priority research areas and three critical supports/infrastructures to progress the Blue Growth Strategy in the European Atlantic Sea Basin.

For each sector (such as marine renewable energy, fisheries/aquaculture, maritime transport, etc) key research prioritisation exercises are referenced and an indicative list of research priorities identified.

Geoffrey O’Sullivan of the Marine Institute, representing the SEAS-ERA Atlantic partnership, presented the SEAS-ERA Atlantic report at the Lisbon Atlantic Conference from 4-5 December organised by the Portuguese Government to report progress on the implementation of 2011's EU Strategy for the Atlantic and this year's Atlantic Action Plan.

In his presentation, O’Sullivan argued that the SEAS-ERA Atlantic Report represented a source of information on the sectoral research priorities to be addressed in an Atlantic Sea Basin context to support the Blue Growth Strategy.

He welcomed the opportunity afforded to the SEAS-ERA Atlantic partnership to contribute to the development of the Atlantic Action Plan (2014-2020) and acknowledged the support of the European Commission in including the SEAS-ERA Atlantic Discussion Document (2011) on the Atlantic Forum website as background information.

“The real success of the SEAS-ERA Atlantic partnership [was] the input and influence the project had on development of the Atlantic Action Plan, published by the commission in May 2013,” he said.

The EU FP7 SEAS-ERA partnership will host its third SEAS-ERA Strategic Forum in Brussels on 25 February 2014.

The project is a network of European marine research funding organisations (RFOs) consisting of 21 partners and two third-parties from 18 member and associated member states located along the European seaboard in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Black Sea.

The Marine Institute is a partner and joint lead with the European Marine Board (Ostend, Belgium) of Work Package 6.1: A draft Marine Research Plan for the European Atlantic Sea Basin.

The principle aims of the SEAS-ERA network are to improve co-operation between national competitive marine research funding programmes; to facilitate better co-operation in addressing shared opportunities and challenges; to ensure better use of existing resources and capacities; to bridge identified gaps; to avoid duplication; to jointly fund strategic projects of mutual interest and, in doing so, contribute to the sustainable development of the marine resource and progress the establishment of the marine component of the European Research Area (ERA).

The plan comes online with news that some €200 million has been earmarked for marine research and innovation for the first two years of the EU's Horizon 2020 programme that commences in the New Year.

Published in Marine Science
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.


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At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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