This Policy Brief outlines why we need research vessels, noting the multiple roles they play in supporting marine science and ocean observing. It presents an overview of the current European fleet and its capabilities, and highlights the importance of transnational access within this context. It also briefly outlines the concerns around training for vessel crew, marine technicians and shore-based staff. It then presents the main recommendations of EMB Position Paper 25. This publication summarises the main messages and recommendations of the recent EMB Position Paper 25 on “Next Generation European Research Vessels: Current Status and Foreseeable Evolution”, which was produced in collaboration with the European Research Vessel Operators (ERVO) community.
EMB Position Paper 25 is a comprehensive look at the current research vessel fleet in Europe, updating the findings and recommendations of EMB Position Paper 10 from 2007 on “European Ocean Research Fleets - Towards a Common Strategy and Enhanced Use”. This publication is the result of a collaboration with the European Research Vessel Operators (ERVO) and presents an overview of the current fleet, its capabilities and equipment, and its management. It then looks to the future, highlighting what will be needed to ensure that the European fleet can continue to provide the same high level of support to science, in particular in specialized areas such as the deep-sea and Polar regions. It also goes beyond the fleet itself, to consider the training of fleet personnel, fleet management, and the role of research vessels in the wider context of ocean observations and the European Ocean Observing System (EOOS).
The EurOCEAN 2019 conference is an official contribution to the preparatory phase of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030). It is an important initial step from the European marine science community to prepare for the UN Ocean Decade and to ensure that it aligns with the EU Framework Programmes. The EurOCEAN 2019 conference report documents the contributions and discussions that took place at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France on 11-12 June 2019. It also includes a brief summary with the main messages from the conference.
NFV provides governments with robust, independent scientific advice on future seas and ocean research from now until 2030 and beyond. The future we want requires a healthy ocean and the sustainable use of marine resources. However, the ocean is under threat from multiple interacting stressors. Moreover, we are still developing the scientific knowledge base and technology to fully explore, understand, observe and predict the ocean and the effect of human activities. NFV recommends a solutions-oriented, transdisciplinary marine research agenda, co-designed with all stakeholders and with the governance of sustainability at its core.