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Counting down to the China-EU Blue Year

Thursday, 23 February 2017

On 02 March, the EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, and his Chinese counterpart will launch “China-EU Blue Year” in Brussels. The aim of this initiative is to further cooperation and dialogue to promote innovation and ensure the sustainable development of maritime economies of China and the EU Member States. A number of dedicated events and exchanges will take place in both the EU and China throughout 2017.

On 3 March, the EMB Chair and Secretariat will participate in a meeting with a delegation of officials from the State Oceanic Administration of China and the Chinese Representation to the EU. The visit will take place in Bruges, alongside the VLIZ Marine Science Day. The meeting will also be attended by representatives from EMODnet, the Danish Meteorological Institute and Ifremer. During the visit, the EMB Chair, Jan Mees, will welcome the delegation and will present the work of the Board.

In Memoriam - Professor Mário Ruivo

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

The EMB community is deeply saddened by the news that our esteemed friend and colleague, Professor Mário Ruivo, has passed away. Prof. Ruivo died peacefully at his home in Lisbon on 24th of January. He was 89 years old. Prof. Ruivo has for many years been an active Delegate of the European Marine Board, representing the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) and the Intersectorial Oceanographic Commission.

Throughout his long career, Prof. Ruivo has been a champion of ocean issues. First and foremost, he was a biologist and oceanographer, an accomplished scientist and teacher. But he was also a gifted politician, and he put his political skills to use in promoting a greater appreciation of the ocean among the general public, and in advancing the political case for better management and governance of ocean resources.

Prof. Ruivo received many awards and honours for his work and held numerous leadership roles. Among others, he was Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Fifth Portuguese Provisional Government in 1975, Secretary of State for Fisheries, Director General of Aquatic Resources and Environment with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (1975-1979), and Chairman of the National Commission for the Fund of the Nations (1974-1979). He also served with the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, both as its Executive Secretary (1980-1988) and vice-Chair (2003-2007). He was very active in developing and promoting cooperation in marine science at European level, notably through his long and active participation in EMB and EurOcean.

Prof. Ruivo leaves a significant legacy in bringing ocean affairs and environmental issues to the fore in political discourse both in Portugal and internationally. Everyone who knew him will remember his generosity of spirit, his integrity, his vast historical knowledge and his passion for the ocean. He will be greatly missed by an extensive international community of marine scientists and ocean advocates. But his life’s work and achievements will also be celebrated. We extend our sincere condolences to Prof. Ruivo’s family at this time.

Have your say on the future of European Ocean Observing - online consultation

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

The European Marine Board and EuroGOOS are working together to promote and develop a new framework for advancing Europe’s capacity for ocean observation. The European Ocean Observing System (EOOS) is a coordinating framework designed to align and integrate Europe’s ocean observing capacity, promote a systematic and collaborative approach to collecting information on the state and variability of our seas, and underpin sustainable management of the marine environment and its resources. An open consultation was launched on 12 December 2016 to collect views of the European ocean observing community and wider stakeholders and will be critical to inform any decision-making about a future EOOS. The survey is based on the EOOS Consultation Document, which provides further information on what EOOS is and why there is a need for such a framework. Both the consultation document and the stakeholder consultation are available through the EOOS webpage. The survey is open until 20 January 2017. Have your say now on the future EOOS!

Aristotle and marine biodiversity

Friday, 16 December 2016

Did you know that the great Greek philosopher Aristotle can also be regarded as "the father of marine biodiversity"? More than 40% of the animals he studied in his zoological works had a marine origin. In recognition of this important contribution to philosophy and science, UNESCO declared 2016 (the year of his 2400th birthday) as the "Aristotle Anniversary Year". Visit Lifewatch to learn more about how Aristotle's scientific contributions to taxonomy, ecology and species distributions link to current-day initiatives such as the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS), the European Lifewatch project (featuring Belgian and Greek contributions), the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet) and the European node of the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (EuoOBIS).

EMB presents at two Ocean Conferences, Business2Sea 2016 and CdM ISC ‘16 (16-18 November, Porto and Vila Real, Portugal)

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

The 6th edition of Fórum do Mar, now known as Business2Sea, commences today in Porto. The central theme of Business2Sea 2016 is ‘Grow and Internationalise the Maritime Economy’ and the purpose of the event is to present results of the main maritime activity sectors in Portugal, with a focus on the northern region, as well as to facilitate networking, projects and business developments among the participants. The programme includes a celebration of National Maritime Day in the presence of the Portuguese Minister of the Sea, Ana Paula Vitorino. During this celebratory event, EMB Executive Secretary, Niall McDonough will provide an international perspective with a presentation addressing the main challenges that the ocean faces in the future; the main implications of these challenges in terms of technology and science, and; the main opportunities for economic development. Following Business2Sea, on 17 November, Niall McDonough features as a plenary speaker at the Campus do Mar International Science Conference 2016, where he will give a keynote address on ‘The ocean and human health: an emerging integrated meta-discipline’. The conference serves as a forum for presenting and discussing new research developments in marine science, technology and management. The theme of the conference is "Oceans: Future sustainability challenges", reflecting the growing understanding of the importance of ocean sustainability in crucial areas for human wellbeing, namely in the environmental, economic and social dimensions imperative for a better tomorrow.

EMB Autumn Plenary Meeting (19-20 October, Glasgow)

Monday, 24 October 2016

The EMB Autumn Plenary convened on 19-20 October in Glasgow, UK. The meeting brought together 28 delegates and was hosted by EMB member MASTS (Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland). Guests attended from The Swedish Research Council Formas, the University of Bangor, the European Commission and  JPI Oceans. The Autumn Plenary open session was included as part of the 2016 MASTS Annual Science Meeting and featured presentations by Mark James (MASTS), Murray Roberts (University of Edinburgh), Beth Scott (University of Aberdeen), Jan de Leeuw (NIOZ), Marco Weydert, (European Commission), Iain Shepherd (European Commission), David Mills (Bangor University) and Alan Evans (NOC). At the plenary reception two young researchers from MASTS provided flash presentations on their PhD research investigating the effects of anthropogenic noise on the blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) and marine spatial planning and innovation in governance. EMB delegates, guests and participants of the MASTS Annual Science Meeting also joined together for a session of traditional Scottish ceilidh dancing. You can read more about the highlights of the Autumn Plenary here

EMB takes part in panel at Blue Economy Business and Science Forum 1st Summit (12-13 September, Hamburg)

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

The first summit of the Blue Economy Business and Science Forum is currently taking place in Hamburg. The Summit’s purpose is to address the challenges of Blue Growth by bringing together business, science, finance and policy representatives to exchange knowledge and experience, discuss opportunities and barriers for innovation in the blue economy and celebrate scientific and industrial achievements. An anticipated outcome of the Summit is the provision of recommendations to the European Commission on how to benefit from already existing research, innovation and technology achievements to speed-up commercialization of marine technologies; how to bring science and business communities closer; how to encourage cross-sectoral collaboration; and what regulatory and financial measures the European Commission should take to boost investments in the Blue Economy. Speaking today in the closing plenary session, Executive Secretary of the EMB, Niall McDonough, outlined actions that would increase collaboration between science and industrial sectors. These included: updating the metrics of success for publicly-funded scientists so that they extend beyond publication records to include other measures of success such as knowledge transfer, IP generation and participation in policy advice; improving marine graduate training in order to maximize opportunities to develop the Blue Economy; and improving mechanisms for data sharing between science, public institutions and the private sector. The Summit agenda is available online.

EMB represented at International Symposium on World Ocean Research (12-13 September, Moscow)

Monday, 12 September 2016

To celebrate its 70th anniversary, the P.P.Shirshov Institute of Oceanology of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IO RAS) is hosting the International Symposium, “70 years of World Ocean Research.” The main objectives of IO RAS lie in researching the World Ocean and the Russian seas in a broad sense, including the investigation of physical, chemical, biological and geological processes, laying scientific foundations for forecasting the Earth’s climate variability, marine resource use and safeguarding ecological security in the interests of sustainable development. In keeping with the Institute’s broad oceanographic research remit, the symposium programme features a variety of presentations spanning sustainable development, physical oceanography, biological oceanography, education, perception and capacity building, as well as acoustic studies and marine technology. The European Marine Board is represented by Chair, Jan Mees, who is presenting the work of the EMB in Advancing Seas and Ocean Science for Europe.

Building a European Ocean Observing System (EOOS) discussed at the European Parliament (8 September, Brussels)

Friday, 09 September 2016

European policy and decision makers came together with the ocean observing community at the European Parliament in Brussels yesterday (agenda available here) to discuss plans for EOOS (a European Ocean Observing System), a system which aims to unite the existing ocean observation capacity in Europe. The vision for EOOS (presented by Glenn Nolan, Secretary General of EuroGOOS, the European Global Ocean Observing System) is that it will be a coordinating framework designed to align and integrate Europe’s ocean observing capacity in the long-term; to promote a systematic and collaborative approach to collecting sustained information on the state and variability of our seas; and to underpin sustainable management of the marine environment and its resources. In this way, EOOS will bring a real added value to existing observing efforts, empowering those who are working to advance ocean observing in Europe, catalyzing new initiatives in a strategic way, targeting identified gaps and speaking with a wide range of stakeholders. Speakers and panelists discussed the value of ocean observing for Europe, highlighting societal benefits, as well as the existing observation gaps and the bottlenecks that are currently hindering such an observation system. Niall McDonough, Executive Secretary of the EMB, presented a draft consultation document titled ‘Towards an end-to-end, integrated and sustained ocean observing system for Europe’. This document forms the basis for an open stakeholder consultation on EOOS which will be launched in October. An overview of the main outputs of the EOOS event is available online. Picture features speakers and panelists at the European Parliament event hosted by MEP Ricardo Serrao Santos.

Building a European Ocean Observing System (EOOS) - 8 September, Brussels

Friday, 19 August 2016

On 8 September 2016, Ricardo Serrao Santos, MEP, is hosting a European Parliament event to bring European policy and decision makers together with the ocean observing community, to engage in a direct dialogue and discussions on needs and ambitions for a strong and integrated European ocean observing capacity. This event will help build the foundation of the future EOOS, a light and flexible coordinating framework to help manage and improve the existing observing effort, making it more efficient and effective at different geographical scales, and for different end-users. At the event, a draft Consultation for the EOOS implementation will be launched for a wider stakeholder consultation. Registration is open until 25 August 2016, and further information on EOOS, including the process so far and the event's Agenda, can be found here.

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