EMB plays pivotal role in EOOS Conference 2018 | European Marine Board

EMB plays pivotal role in EOOS Conference 2018

On 21-23 November 2018, ocean observing and monitoring communities from across Europe gathered at the EOOS Conference 2018 in Brussels to showcase existing efforts in ocean observation, connect across communities and make progress towards stronger coordination and sustainability in Europe.

The Conference received financial support from the European Commission (DG MARE) and was co-organized by the EMODnet, EMB and EuroGOOS Secretariats. With over 350 registrations, participants ranged from marine research and infrastructure communities to hydrographic offices, environmental monitoring and ocean industry sectors including aquaculture, fisheries, renewable energy. International experts also provided key inputs on regional efforts worldwide, including presentations from Canada, the U.S.A. and China. In addition to Plenary sessions, ideas and inputs from all participants were encouraged through Breakout discussions, poster pitch presentations and exhibit booths.

The full EMB Secretariat attended the event with active inputs to the organization, programme content, moderation and presentations both in plenary and poster pitches. Former EMB Delegate, MEP Ricardo Serrão Santos gave an opening speech. EMB presentations and panel inputs throughout the event included EMB Executive Director Sheila Heymans, Delegates Gilles Lericolais (Ifremer, France), George Petihakis (HCMR, Greece) and Slawomir Sagan (IOPAN, Poland). EMB Working Group (WG) Chair Lissandro Benedetti-Cecchi (U. Pisa, CoNISMa) also gave a presentation on biological ocean observations, including the EMB Future Science Brief #3 and both Jane Delany, co-author of EMB Position Paper 23 on Citizen Science, and Andre Cattrijsse, co-author on the Research Vessels working group, led a breakout session on integrated ocean observing platforms.

The Conference also attracted interest across the Commission services and European Parliament, JPI Oceans and a number of national funding agencies and ministries.

In a closing speech, Commissioner Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries noted that our current ocean observing system delivers data we could hardly dream of 10 years ago and yet the system remains complex. Improving coordination and strategic cooperation in ocean observing is a priority. The community Call to Action, launched on the final day of the Conference, is intended for all stakeholders in ocean observing and monitoring to communicate the inherent value of ocean observing and monitoring providing ocean data and information for society and to call upon national and European organizations to make strategic planning and coordination of existing efforts a priority.