The paper highlights that human health and well-being is intrinsically connected to, and impacted by, the seas and oceans which surround our continental landmass. To manage this relationship, we need an effective policy framework, linking maritime and public health policies. While Europe has made significant strides in developing an Integrated Maritime Policy, we do not yet take sufficient account of human health aspects in maritime policy-making. Hence the concerted European research effort advocated by this paper does not just represent and interesting scientific challenge, but is essential to ensure that improving public health and achieving Good Environmental status in European seas are linked and mutually supportive policy objectives.
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