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Green Paper for a European Maritime Policy

Response from the French Community of Scientific


Oceanography

Response coordinated by the Ifremer’s Direction for European Affairs

Authors: A. Dosdat, C. Jagot


Final - 05/04/2007

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Note

This document summarises the opinions of scientists and managers from French
research institutes actively involved in marine science and technology, and from
organisations responsible for integrating research results and developing operational
marine products and services. It consists of a carefully organised set of guidelines,
focusing on the marine research sector.

The content of this document was drawn from four in-house seminars, which were
hosted on Ifremer premises and chaired by its CEO. Expert opinions were offered by
various specialists, and contributions were made by the executive committee
representing French organisations involved in oceanography programmes on global
climate change (CDO)1.

This document follows the same format as the proposal officially submitted to the CDO
in October 2006. Each chapter includes a series of comments, recommendations and, if
appropriate, priority questions taken from the Green Paper itself. It deliberately does
not attempt to answer all the questions put forward in the Green Paper, but focuses on
the most strategically important questions for research. It does not make any premature
judgements regarding the most efficient short- and medium-term solutions, which are
likely to be based on existing cooperation structures and programmes. The Green
Paper contains proposals on subjects other than research, such as safety and defence,
which may play a structuring role. These issues will be dealt with elsewhere, by the
ministries and organisations concerned. They are therefore not covered in this
document.

More specifically scientific issues are discussed in the final appendix, as recommended
by the European Commission.

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Besides the Ifremer, the CDO includes the French Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service
(SHOM), the CNRS, the Research Institute for Development (IRD), the French National Space Agency
(CNES) and Meteo France.

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Table of Contents
I. The importance of the sea and the oceans for Europe ................................................................................... 4

II. An integrated maritime policy for the European Union: a cross-cutting role for marine sciences in the
knowledge society.................................................................................................................................................. 4

III. Levers for keeping Europe at the forefront of international marine research ......................................... 7

IV. Towards an integrated European Marine Research Area ........................................................................ 10

V. Towards a better integration of the Common Fisheries Policy .................................................................. 14

VI. The geographic dimension as an integration factor................................................................................... 15

APPENDIX.......................................................................................................................................................... 18

The major themes of future research ................................................................................................................ 18

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I. The importance of the sea and the oceans for Europe
With 68,000 km of coastline, the world’s second largest Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and 22
member states (out of 27) with at least one maritime border, the European Union (EU) must, by
definition, play an essential role in maritime activities and the marine environment. The total area of
the exclusive economic zones that come under the jurisdiction of the member states exceeds that of
their emerged territory, thanks notably to the presence of Europe in ultra-peripheral regions (Reunion,
Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guyana, the Canaries, Madeira and the Azores). More than one hundred
million Europeans live in maritime areas, on islands or in ultra-peripheral regions. Furthermore,
maritime activities in EU countries generate between 3 and 5% of the GNP; this does not include the
standing capital in oil, gas and fisheries resources, which are a significant source of natural wealth.
In addition, the sea provides countless economic and environmental services: trading activities
through ports and sea transport, the movement of populations to coastal areas due to their quality of
life and heritage, the role of coastal and maritime areas (especially estuaries) in land use planning,
tourism and yachting, energy production and the exploitation of offshore oil, the exploitation of
biological and mineral resources and climate and carbon cycle control.

The marine environment (in the broad sense of the term), which was for a long time assumed to be
resistant to the impact of human activity, is subjected to a great deal of stress (pollutants, loss of
biodiversity, resource depletion, overpopulation, dessication, eutrophication related to the catchment
basin, CO2, etc.), which is now threatening the benefits provided by ecosystems and causing both
economic and environmental repercussions. Innovative research efforts are needed to better control
the impact of development and achieve an equal balance between the three dimensions (economic,
social and environmental) of the Lisbon Strategy in these fragile areas (especially coastal zones,
which are the most directly affected). It is essential that these research efforts integrate a growing
spectrum of skills.

The EU’s Framework Programme for Research and Development (FP) is highly instrumental in this
process. Nevertheless, the FP’s efforts in the maritime sector remain modest: under the 6th FP, less
than 3% of the total budget was allocated to this sector. Now that the 7th FP is coming into force, we
need to build on the foundations laid by the Green Paper on maritime policy.

II. An integrated maritime policy for the European Union: a cross-cutting


role for marine sciences in the knowledge society

a. Research into marine sciences and technologies: transversal activities


and policy support programmes
Q: Should the EU have an integrated maritime policy? (Chapter 1, p.7)

Bringing together ocean-related and sea-related issues under a common focus, as suggested in the
Green Paper, is both a necessity and a challenge. It requires citizens, decision-makers and economic
players alike to look at the governance and organisation of maritime activities from a fresh angle.
Indeed, maritime activities should no longer be governed and organised on a sectoral basis, but
according to common practices and environmental concerns. The environmental dimension, embodied
in the European Maritime Strategy, is globally relevant and should be one of the pillars of the policy.

The equally transversal nature of marine sciences and technologies, the wide scope of which is
reflected in the research programmes conducted by major European institutes and universities, should
also be a fundamental element in the development of this integrated maritime policy. Indeed, research
into marine sciences and technologies covers a very broad spectrum of issues that impact the daily
lives of Europe's citizens, such as environmental protection (research into climate change, the eco-
system based approach to fisheries management, etc.), economic competitiveness (“blue”
biotechnologies, development of aquaculture, under-sea technologies and new energy sources, the
exploitation of mineral resources from the ocean floor, etc.), the integrated management of coastal
zones (research into the interaction between sea-related practices and help with decision-making),
health and consumer protection (quality of bathing water and sea products) and the forecasting of
natural risks.

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Scientific expertise provides the foundation for defining and implementing different European policies,
be they sectoral (fishing, transport) or transversal (environment, sustainable development). The role
of research in supporting policies and assisting decision-making is perfectly in line with the
fundamental principle of the Lisbon Strategy, which advocates a “knowledge-based society”. In view
of this, the Green Paper could have discussed the role of knowledge development in greater detail,
without omitting operational applications.

Recommendation 1: Coordinate policies


To make sure that the European Maritime Policy is genuinely “integrated”, current legislation on the
environment, fisheries and maritime activities should be updated so that it covers all maritime sectors
and includes, for example, cross-references. Therefore, the EC’s main Directorate Generals (DG ENV,
DG FISH, DG SANCO, DG TREN) need to be more closely linked, for example by appointing a “sea”
representative within each DG to monitor related projects.
With regard to coastal areas, the EU should promote the harmonisation of existing regulations and
directives and encourage member states to implement comprehensive processes for optimising the
use of space and resources. A framework directive on the Integrated Coastal Zone Management
(ICZM) could be implemented as a daughter directive of the European Marine Strategy.

Recommendation 2: Place Europe’s maritime research sector firmly at the heart of maritime
policy.
By means of the Green Paper, the EU must seize the opportunity to:
- fully integrate marine science and technology research into the debate on challenges and
solutions and into the implementation of a European maritime policy;
- facilitate the integration of scientific disciplines to improve the understanding of phenomena
and encourage more carefully considered decision-making;
- integrate infrastructures to streamline the use of technical resources.

Recommendation 3: Associate scientific research with policy definition


In accordance with the Lisbon Strategy, the role of research in supporting policy development has now
been clearly established. To avoid duplicating activities, research institutes should be more closely
involved in drawing up guidelines (for example on good environmental status), developing tools and
methods for institutional use and analysing the efficiency of measures taken (especially where
implementation is dependent upon scientific consensus).

Recommendation 4: Capitalise on the experience of other industrialised nations


Some industrialised countries (Japan, Australia) have developed a maritime policy that combines
research activities and industrial competitiveness, whilst factoring in environmental issues (both
sustainable development and new environment-related technologies). The EU should draw on this
type of experience to coordinate its maritime strategy with its research sector. It should consider the
advantages of introducing a maritime industry development plan with closer ties to various branches of
research, rather than to a single discipline such as sea transport or fishing. Like China and Korea,
Europe should have a long-term vision of how, for example, we could explore/exploit the deep ocean
floor in international waters.

b. What role for European marine sciences in the knowledge society and
the 7th FP ?
Research into marine sciences and technologies should be a natural component of the new European
maritime policy. It can and must boost European competitiveness, not only through applied studies in
high-potential sectors such as aquaculture and biotechnology, but also in more general terms by
monitoring and issuing warnings on the state of health of the marine environment.

Furthermore, notwithstanding the principle of subsidiarity (where applicable), Europe’s


accomplishments in marine research seem to be a relevant issue for several reasons. With regard to
heavy equipment (for example the policy for purchasing and deploying Remote Operated Vehicles -
ROVs), Europe is struggling to compete with the United States, despite Franco-German cooperation.
Europe is also behind in building, modernising and using oceanographic vessels (an area in which the
concept of international co-ownership is not yet established). The European level is now the most
appropriate for acquiring state-of-the-art tools, making optimal use of resources and implementing
economies of scale.

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Finally, as competition is worldwide rather than intra-European in some sectors (biotechnology,
mineral resources, aquaculture, technology, climate modelling), it is important to maintain innovative
and leadership capability on a European scale in key areas. Although the maritime sector is not
adequately covered by the 7th FP, in 1990 marine research became one of the first areas to feature in
community programmes, mainly through the FAIR programme for halieutics and the MAST
programme (Marine Science and Technology), which focused on the marine environment. When this
programme was terminated in 1994, research into marine science and technology was split between
various European programmes, in line with a new and nonetheless expanded vision of its scope.
Despite efforts to structure it, Europe’s marine research sector remains fragmented and slow to react.
This obstructs the natural potential for transversal (cross-sectoral, multi-scale, georeferenced and
multi-disciplinary) development. At present, neither the funds invested in marine science and
technology, nor the efforts made to develop the necessary equipment across Europe, are adequate to
sustain the maritime economy over the long term, especially in view of the extent of Europe’s
Exclusive Economic Zones.

Recommendation 5: Extend the role and purpose of the FP


Research processes in marine science and technology are unusual in many ways, due to the fact that
the obstacles to exploring the marine environment are comparable to those encountered in space
science. These obstacles, such as the cost of exploration resources, the need to adapt measuring
systems, the multi-disciplinary nature of models and the multiplicity of scales, are the overriding
challenge facing marine research. In view of these obstacles, we need to strike a new balance
between competition and cooperation, in order to make optimal use of the instruments provided in the
7th FP and the tender selection system. For example, a possible solution would be to develop joint or
coordinated initiatives, according to the model implemented by the ESFRI2.

Recommendation 6: Implement innovative implementation strategies within the FP


Framework programmes do not provide an adequate outlet for marine science and technology
research, given its high priority and transversal nature. Consequently, the EC (DG of “Fishing and
Maritime Affairs”?) should develop a mechanism for coordinating marine science and technology
projects within the FP. Besides its initial task of informing, analysing and assessing, this mechanism,
consisting for example of a panel of experts (“European panel on the oceans of the future” - see
recommendation 18 below) could identify transversal research themes and suggest trans-thematic
tender invitations.
Furthermore, marine science is not limited to the type of pre-competitive research promoted by the
“Cooperation" programme under the 7th FP. Fundamental research is just as important in its long-term
contribution to the knowledge society. In view of this, the European Research Council should give a
special place on its panels to marine researchers and confirm its interest in associated disciplines.

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European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures

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III. Levers for keeping Europe at the forefront of international marine
research

a. Data observation and utilisation networks


Q: How can maritime policy contribute to maintaining our ocean resources and environment?
(Chapter. 2.2, p.13)

The implementation of ocean observation networks and the perpetuation of data collection for
research and monitoring (including technological aspects such as robotics), are vital to studying the
marine environment and drawing up accurate forecasts. The eco-systemic approach involves the use
of diverse data series, which are complex to interpret. It entails several levels of meshing: spatial,
temporal and disciplinary. It is important to note that a geographically-based quality reference system
and long-term spatial and in situ observation are needed to create realistic and efficient models and
that, to improve these models, we need to assiduously monitor the natural environment they
represent. The integration of satellite observation, in situ and model output data is a challenge in itself.
In this respect, the Green Paper has a loophole: it considers GMES3 primarily as a data acquisition
system, without even mentioning operational oceanography whilst the setting of a oceanic service
sector is one of the three priorities by GMES.
All sectors, regardless of their role and size, face the challenge of collecting, normalising,
standardising, harmonising and perpetuating data. Although the Green Paper mentions the EMS and
the directives on fishing and the protection of fauna and flora, it is regrettable that it does not refer to
the Water Framework Directive (FWD), the purpose of which is to monitor and protect coastal
environments.

Q: Is there a need for better data on coastal regions and on maritime activities? (Chapter 4.3 p.39)

If we are to effectively manage land development, make the right decisions and prevent risks, we need
an accurate description of the physical and morpho-geological environment and of the environmental
context. Chapter 4 of the Green Paper addresses the issue of data management tools and discusses
the benefits of having better data on coastal regions and maritime activities. The goal here is to obtain
information on the purpose and efficiency of European financial assistance for member states. French
institutes are in favour of this approach. If we are to gain greater knowledge of coastal regions and
maritime activities, we first need to collect adequate economic information on a European scale. This
information should enable us to determine the economic weight of a given set of maritime activities (as
yet undefined) within the member states and coastal regions. This economic weight will be calculated
branch by branch, in terms of production, employment and subsidies received, and will enable us to
anticipate the economic and social consequences of the political choices made. All this will require
human and financial resources.

Q: How can a maritime policy further the aims of the Marine Thematic Strategy? (Chapter 2.2, p.13)

The Green Paper considers the EMS as the environmental pillar of the EU's maritime policy.
Consequently, it does not discuss the subject in any depth. However, the integration of the EMS into
Europe's maritime policy is just as important as other integration needs, if not more so. The EMS is
based largely on local conventions (HELCOM, OSPAR and Barcelona), which provide a loose
institutional framework and do not impose any formal obligations. In some cases, the ICES4 is asked
to manage environmental and halieutic data. The very nature of oceanographic and marine data, not
to mention the way in which they are processed and interpreted, is not really compatible with the
European Union’s customary legal tools (directives/regulations) and requires a more tailor-made legal
framework.

At present, the EMS does not provide for interactions with other European policies, and even virtually
excludes them (CFP, nitrates, FWD, urban wastewater treatment directive, regulations on toxic
plankton or microbiology). Now, the key to optimising an integrated European maritime policy lies in

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Global Monitoring for Environment and Security
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International Council for the Exploration of the Sea

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coordinating the policy with existing regulations to avoid duplication and to guarantee that there is no
overlap in application at any level. Furthermore, the respective responsibilities of regions, member
states, the OSPAR and the European Environment Agency in the process remain unclear. There is
however one constant: the lack of proposals for joint management. The component addressing the
oceanic services in GMES will be the opportunity to develop a new way of monitoring the ocean,
numerical monitoring, which will be a prominent tool to be used under the EMS. In this way, a strong
political will is necessary at the EU level to insure an optimal service in the marine core service of
GMES (including both observation and service).

Q: How can a European Marine Observation and Data Network be set up, maintained and financed on
a sustainable basis? (Chapter 4.1, p. 36)
Ifremer, along with all other French research institutes, support the guidelines set forth in appendix 4a
for the development of a marine observation network. Nevertheless, this document invokes a few
additional remarks and specifications on the implementation of these guidelines, which are
summarised in the following 4 recommendations.

Recommendation 7: Coordinate data acquisition and management


The complexity and cost involved in collecting and managing both environmental and economic data,
call for European and international cooperation and the development of original, unifying governance
structures. Successive FPs have failed to meet this requirement and, generally speaking, the
member states themselves have not taken the necessary steps towards cooperation. A long-term
structure, most likely a network to extend the framework of current conventions (e.g. OSPAR), needs
to be set up to bring together the EC and the member states. Furthermore, a network of partners
would either have to be created or extended within the different member states and regions, to put
together a collection of economic data in close cooperation with, or even under the coordination of,
Eurostat.

Recommendation 8: Improve the technical framework and develop a "quality assurance"


system for European data
The EU should develop a mechanism for harmonising and qualifying the data required under the terms
of the Green Paper, as part of the data acquisition system. A European reference agency, modelled
on the European reference laboratory, could be set up. It would be responsible for the storage,
convergence and quality of the data collected under the different policies [data collection for fisheries
(DCR), EMS, FDW, etc.], from the beginning of the collection cycle to the end. It would also publish
standards and specifications relating to the different data repositories, system interoperability, etc. This
agency would cooperate with national organisations (e.g. national or European reference laboratories
such as those set up by the DG SANCO) to guarantee the conformity and successful transmission of
data, which would then be made available to a European marine data management network (see
below). Eventually, this agency could take over the various tasks performed directly by the EC’s
directorate generals, and provide long-term funding.

Recommendation 9: Consolidate a European network for data


The integrated infrastructure project SEADATANET should be continued and should focus on the
development of a pan-European marine data management network. Composed of a nationally or even
regionally distributed infrastructure of data centres, this network could provide a transparent, free-
access portal to marine data. The management of in situ data should be highly decentralised
according to a distributed management system, whilst guaranteeing interoperability and the
comparison of analyses conducted at different levels (as per recommendation 8).

Recommendation 10: Organise and improve data access and use by scientists
The purpose of the EMS, DCR and the FWD is to provide data to government bodies, for use in the
implementation and monitoring of pan-European policies. However, instead of using these data for
exclusively “administrative” purposes, it would be beneficial if they could be put to greater use by
scientists. They also need to be more accessible to scientists. The Helsinki conference in November
2006 (Baltic Sea and European Marine Strategy – Linking Science and Policy) drew attention to this
issue, and officially addressed its concerns to representatives of the DG for the environment.
Therefore, a special effort is needed in this area. For example, data generated within the context of the
EMS should also be used to analyse environmental risks (e.g. toxic algae) and chemical, sanitary,
natural and coastal risks (e.g. the level of the sea).

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b. Data/knowledge valorisation and use
Observation and data systems
Q: On what lines should a European Atlas of the Seas be developed? (Chapter 4.1, p. 36)
The development of operational oceanography, the establishment of marine environment
observatories, including in the deep sea bottoms, and the implementation of the relevant directives
and regulations will make it possible to build up an extensive data complex in Europe. The vast
majority of those data will be gathered by public institutions.

The principles developed with regard to geographically-listed data, under the INSPIRE Directive,
should be able to serve as a model to ensure data maintenance, foster interoperability between data
management and exchange systems without limiting their use, and lastly, share resources and
responsibilities within Member States.

The GMES programme will contribute to the objectives of the INSPIRE Directive, which does not stray
from the provisions set out in the Aarhus Convention on the right to access environmental data or
Directive 2003/4/EC, which enables it to be enforced in the EU. The Helsinki Conference
recommended, for instance, that all environmental data regarding the Baltic Sea be provided free of
charge and without restriction to the broadest possible population, with the costs being borne by the
public authorities. It should be noted that the creation of a European Atlas of the Seas will have to
deal with this dimension.

‰ European Atlas of the Seas


The French scientific community supports the general idea of a European Atlas of the Seas. However,
the perimeter of this atlas still needs to be clearly defined. The authors of this contribution believe that
the European Atlas of the Seas should not be developed separately from other international initiatives,
even though the EU admittedly occupies a leading position through the Seadatanet project, within
which the technical and methodological mechanisms for a distributed data management and
circulation system are being developed. There is indeed a latent need to consolidate all future,
present and past data in a permanent European portal.
Besides providing information on populations and ecosystems, this atlas would help create an
inventory of the mineral and fossil resources both in the earth and the sea floor, which could enhance
the possibility of upgrading these marine resources. However, the French research community
stresses the cost and magnitude of such an initiative.

Recommendation 11: Develop a progressive and multi—scale Atlas of the Seas


The French scientific community suggests defining a permanent and progressive atlas (i.e. one which
would change and develop over time), using the full range of modern mapping capabilities (e.g. multi-
beam depth sounders). This atlas would comprise at least two levels:
- A global level, including a general reference system valid and applicable across the whole of
Europe, and especially in maritime regions. A standardised quality assurance system –
including the definition of meta-data – would have to be established. The Seadatanet
consortium could contribute to this project.
- A local level, defined in accordance with the specific features of each geographic area and
referring to the general system in a much more precise fashion.

These levels would be maintained and updated by a network of reference contributors, including in
UPRs, and could be viewed freely and openly online.
This Atlas should show natural risk vulnerability zones and provide socio-economic information.

c. Risk analysis and warning networks


Q: How can our shores and coastal waters be better policed to prevent human threats? (Chapter 3.2,
p. 30)

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The analysis and management of risks of all types (natural, human and sanitary) are only briefly
touched upon in the Green Paper. The Green Paper focuses on short-term “visible” risks, (e.g.
accidental pollution, tsunamis, floods), to the detriment of widespread risk (e.g. pollutants and coastal
erosion). A more detailed typology is needed, bearing in mind that response levels, management and
intervention procedures differ greatly according to the risk type. Hence the recommendations for an
EU-wide approach, via regulations and/or directives.

Sanitary risks are not mentioned at all in the section on coastal risks, although they are much more
likely to occur in Europe than tsunamis. The most widespread human health risk is the efflorescence
of toxic algae. Diffuse chronic pollution and its consequences are not discussed in any depth, although
the efforts required to control it are all the greater because the cause/effect ratio is difficult to establish.
In these hypothetical cases, there is a glaring lack of expertise in detecting and anticipating risks.
Therefore, a more methodical and systematic approach to data capitalisation is needed. It is
unfortunate that the EMS has not investigated the connection between environmental data and
associated risks.

Recommendation 12: Anticipate natural risks


Technological progress is essential to improving natural risk forecasting and management, as required
by the Green Paper. This progress is ongoing, and is reflected in the development of scientific
observatories and operational oceanography. To maintain and develop these tools, the synergy
between decision-makers and academics must be reinforced.

Recommendation 13: Introduce more targeted monitoring of coastal risks


The data produced within the framework of the EMS and the GMES initiative should also be used to
evaluate the risks [environmental (e.g. toxic algae), chemical, sanitary, seismic, coastal (e.g. sea
level)] identified through observation (raw data) or forecasting (models). This evaluation should be
preceded by an analysis of the vulnerability of the European coastal environment. Instead of
monitoring an ever-changing group of so-called “priority” substances, we should be permanently
monitoring a smaller number of substances (tracers) that are characteristic of human activity in priority
zones, through the implementation of spot checks. Applied eco-toxicological studies should result in a
rational analysis of the risks.

IV. Towards an integrated European Marine Research Area


The EU’s leading goal for the next decade is to create a European Research Area (ERA). The marine
science and technology sector intends to contribute significantly to this project. One of the main
objectives is to prevent the fragmentation of the research sector and the duplication of research efforts
whilst, at the same time, avoiding institutional sluggishness. Hence, the French scientific community
recommends building this research area on the basis of existing institutions and networks, rather than
creating new ones. Consequently, the first task is to organise a system of collaboration and
cooperation between these institutions, and to set up a cluster structure.

a. Infrastructures
One of the main levers for the development of the ERA is the setting of community infrastructures and
their joint useof national infrastructure in a transnational perspective. The creation of ESFRI to support
a more coherent approach to a policy driven action addressing the research infrastructure and to
deserve international negotiation to promote new infrastructure was an excellent initiative. It is
therefore regrettable that the Green Paper does not mention it, and also ignores oceanographic fleets,
heavy equipment (such as manned, remote-operated or autonomous submarines), databases,
biological test and experimentation basins, and satellites. Infrastructure and technology are crucial
factors in the science and technology sector, just as they are in space research. According to the
Marine Board, infrastructures account for some 50% of total research and development expenditure in
marine science and technology, result in the extensive structuring of national research systems and
benefit from EU-wide technological developments.

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Various work groups (ESFRI road map, report by the work group on marine research infrastructures5,
report by the ESF Marine Board’s “Ocean Fleet” work group) have reached the same conclusions: the
EU needs an integrated investment policy in order to avoid redundancy, better coordinate the
management of research fleets (and the associated heavy equipment - submarines, ROVs, AUVs) and
land-based infrastructures (test basins and aquaculture facilities), increase the interoperability capacity
of equipment, systems (including sensors) and databases, develop innovative investigation tools and,
generally speaking, provide a better service to European scientists at the lowest possible cost. In
fact, the systematic collection of data for observatories (including sea floor observatories), the EMS,
offshore operational services within the GMES initiative (e.g. the ARGO project) and the development
of comprehensive and up-to-date atlas will require sea-based resources and will reinforce the
ambivalence between service and research in their use. As a result, each member state will, in the
short term, have to streamline the deployment of rare resources.
Recommendation 14: Ensure the sustainability of global ocean observation systems as
required by the GMES Programme
The ocean agencies developing thanks to the GMES Programme, and for instance the digital
surveillance agencies for coastal waters, are intended as operational bodies. To perform effectively,
they must be able to rely on sustainable spatial and in situ observation systems, like what exists in
meteorology: this is not currently the case, even looking only at the near future. It is essential that the
lasting spatial resources required be instituted and coordinated across Europe, as part of international
cooperation efforts, under the supervision of the European Union. The same applies to the in situ
resources in the category of networks required to measure physical-biological-geochemical
parameters in the ocean, at the pan-European or global level.

Funding for such spatial and in situ operational infrastructures must now be sought, as this issue has
not been dealt with, whether in the current GMES Programme or the FPRTDs, which are not designed
for this purpose.

Recommendation 15: Optimise the use of infrastructures


A significant effort must be made to encourage cooperation between countries, whilst making centres
of excellence more easily accessible to scientists from all member states.
It will be difficult to develop infrastructures under the FP7 due to the largely unfavourable decisions
made during the budget negotiation process. The institutionalisation of the “transnational access”
concept must continue, with particular emphasis on marine science and technology.

Recommendation 16: Coordinate the development and management of European


oceanographic fleets
It is increasingly difficult for individual countries to shoulder the very high investment and
implementation costs associated with oceanographic vessels and their heavy equipment. This
situation calls for a concerted response from the member states, which must share the EC’s goal of
creating an inter-agency organisation for managing national fleets, according to the agreements
reached within the Ocean Fleet Exchange Group (OFEG)6. The progress made by the ESA in this
area could provide inspiration for this future “organisation”.

Recommendation 17: Make full and better use of existing equipment


A general effort is needed to make full and combined use of systems designed to prevent accidental
pollution (including in industrial corporations) and research equipment (e.g. through the development
of industrial/research partnerships to optimise the use of ROVs). For cost reasons, the EU should
provide backing for the development and implementation of technologically advanced tools, designed
mainly for research purposes but available to others in the event of an accident. This would prevent
highly-expensive equipment from being under-used. The result would be a joint, dual-purpose set of
infrastructures that could be used on request by the European Maritime Safety Agency, for example.

5
Academy of Finland, 2003 European Strategy on Marine Research Infrastructure, publication 6/03
6
The OFEG is a presently informal group of 5 national institutions (IMR in Norway, NERC in the
United Kingdom, BMBF in Germany, NIOZ in the Netherlands, Ifremer in France, CSIC in Spain),
which have decided to lend their oceanographic facilities to their partners, under the framework of a
sean campaign exchange initiative

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b. Coordination of national programmes
Q: Should a European Marine Research Network be developed? (Chapter 2.3, p. 15)
Q: How can a European marine-related research strategy be developed to further deepen our
knowledge and promote new technologies?

The wide range of marine biotopes in Europe, and the many interactions that impact the marine
environment, call for an appropriate governance strategy. Once again, the best solution seems to be
to use existing structures and networks (e.g. MB, EFARO7, EuroGOOS8, etc). A more integrating
approach would increase the relevance of information flows on national and European partners and
ongoing projects, and facilitate the practical implementation of academic recommendations through
the development of cooperation programmes between maritime institutes. The regional dimension of
the EMS is conducive to a federation of institutes with a regional vocation. It should however be noted
that setting up such a network would have various consequences, which could lead to co-existence in
several areas:
- The delivery of scientific opinions on the implementation of policies, a role that is currently
fulfilled by the CIEM,
- The proposal of strategic research agendas, which is handled at present by various groups
(ESF-MB, EFARO, technological platforms, networks of excellence); these groups should be
unified and incorporate university organisations,
- Recommendations for the implementation of projects within Framework Programmes; at
present, no formal structure exists for this,
- The organisation of joint programmes, a role that is under the temporary responsibility of the
European Commission, via the ERANET scheme; this role includes the diffusion of
information, which is currently assumed in part by the EurOcean organisation in Lisbon.

The proposed structure for the European Institute of Technology (EIT) is similar to this proposal.
Although the marine science sector does not require such a complex structure, the creation of a
cooperative research network including, at one stage or another, the three components of the
"Triangle of Knowledge" is an interesting idea, especially in view of the various handful of networks
and structures that already exist. However, this type of structure implies the establishment or definition
of rules relating to intellectual property, access rights and knowledge transfer.

Recommendation 18: Set up an advisory group of scientific experts, for the European
Commission
The EC should promote the development of a “European Panel On the Oceans of the Future”. This
panel would comprise a group of scientific experts (similar to the CIEM), which would have an advisory
role to the European Commission and would involve all the DGs (ENV, RTD, FISH, TREN, etc.)
concerned by maritime activities (cf. recommendations 1 and 6). This panel need not be highly
institutionalised. It would inform the EC of the scientific priorities defined during consultations with
national research centres (or existing networks). It would also advise the EC on marine research and
technology needs. This panel would be better than an annual conference, as it would also provide a
regularly-updated, cross-sectoral, medium to long-term vision, along the lines of that offered by the
ESFRI (NB: this type of structure already exists in an institutional format in other fields, e.g. SCAR in
agriculture). The result would be a Community Strategy for Marine Research.

Recommendation 19: Encourage collaboration between institutes


The EC should set up a support structure for projects aiming to bring together national research
organisations or departments (for example, AWI-Ifremer).

Recommendation 20: Encourage the development of joint programmes


It would be a good idea to combine or extend existing networks, or even to create new ones for
“orphan” themes, to ensure that all areas are covered. These networks could then implement joint
programmes, following the same format as the ESF’s Eurocore and EC’s ERANET+ schemes. All

7
European Fisheries and Aquaculture Organisation
8
European Global Ocean Observing System

12
these networks would be coordinated by a permanent secretariat, a possible first step towards a
European “marine council”.

Recommendation 21: Add a maritime dimension to the European Institute of Technology


project
The scope of the EIT is going to get bigger and bigger. It would be logical to include in this project
specific research into the impact of climate change on the marine environment (sea level, erosion,
acidification, ecosystems and biodiversity). It could be integrated into the priority section on "climate
change", which has been pinpointed for development by one of the first “Knowledge and Innovation
Communities”.

c. Research/industry relations
In Europe, the framework for reinforced cooperation between research and industry, and the
mechanisms for identifying potential added value, are patently inadequate. This is true, for example, in
the field of marine-based biotechnology and in environmental services, which are not very developed
in Europe. One of the reasons for the delay in implementing the Lisbon agenda is that cooperation
between the industrial sector and universities is difficult.

The competitiveness clusters set up in France are a good example of attempted collaboration between
the research, innovation and industrial sectors, in that they prevent digressions from the objective and
focus available resources on long-terms initiatives with a pre-defined impact.

The 7th FP introduces the concept of Technological Platforms, which unfortunately are relatively
complex and technocratic. The advantage of technological platforms lies in the shared analysis of
future research projects, rather than in the identification of potential added value. The EU should relax
collaboration and cohort effect rules to foster the development of bilateral research/industry
partnerships and promote innovation projects that are consistent with market characteristics (modelled
on the Carnot Institutes).
Finally, the use of structural funds should be more targeted, and contingent upon the application of
research results.

Recommendation 22: Support the creation of economic value


The future maritime policy must explicitly support the development of an industrial strategy for the
marine and coastal environment sector, by creating tools specifically for industrialists (SMEs and
others). To achieve this, the EU may have to:
- Relax the rules for participating in the FP, with a view to enabling access for SMEs and
facilitating the industrial and commercial exploitation of findings;
- Promote the building of partnerships, along the same lines as those developed by the
Fraunhofer Institutes in Germany and the Carnot Institutes in France. The European Institute
of Technology (see below) could be an alternative, if it were interested in marine science;
- Step up its activities to promote European competitiveness clusters and support direct bilateral
cooperation been public research institutes and industrial facilities, as part of a simplified
process to create economic value and fast access to the market.

Recommendation 23: Use and valorise European research findings


One of the most significant improvements in the European R&D system lies in the exploitation of EC-
funded research results. Findings from projects relating to maritime activities or the marine
environment, whether they derive from an FP or a structural fund (INTERREG, FEDER), should be
made accessible after a reasonable period of time via a single, free-access portal, to facilitate the
diffusion of knowledge and best practices.

Recommendation 24: Improve the diffusion of scientific knowledge


Generally speaking, popularisation and communication still play a very small role in European
scientific policy. To stimulate the interest of the general public, increase public awareness of maritime
culture, deliver information on the role of scientific knowledge and disseminate knowledge between

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researchers in different disciplines, a scientific popularisation conference should be organised on a
regular basis (every 2 years). Such a conference would enable researchers from different
organisations, as well as various networks (EFARO, Marine Board, networks of excellence, Era-nets),
to share their experience, circulate information and take stock of technological progress. It could be
held at the same time as a “science-meets industry” conference, to create synergies with industrialists
(cf. below).
Other awareness campaigns including, for example, a series of activities in schools across Europe,
could be set up. The purpose of these campaigns would be to make young people aware of the
fragility of the marine environment and stimulate interest in scientific careers (introduce a European
year of marine sciences).

V. Towards a better integration of the Common Fisheries Policy


Fishing and aquaculture contribute significantly to the food sector in Europe, and provide a
considerable portion of the European citizen’s food intake. Products from these sectors are consumed
either directly (direct or imported products) or indirectly (incorporation of halieutic products into animal
feed). These two activities are based on the use of fragile renewable natural resources, and receive
considerable support from scientific experts in National Research Centres. In this context, the Ifremer
fully agrees with the observations and recommendations put forward by the EFARO.

Recommendation 25: Support scientific and technical expertise


Community research programmes in support of the management of exploited living resources, which
draw on an extensive pool of scientific and technical expertise (including socio-economic and
institutional expertise) must be maintained at an adequate level, as they were under the FP5.

a. Fishing
Q: How should the development of the Common Fishing Policy be pursued to achieve sustainable
fishing?
The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is constantly changing. It is now subject to the obligations signed
at the Johannesburg Summit (September 2002), the objectives of which are to apply an ecosystemic
approach to fishing activities by 2010, develop an extensive network of protected maritime areas by
2012 and, from 2015 on, maintain a level of exploitation compatible with the maximum sustainable
yield.
There is however a risk that a common policy such as the CFP might escape the obligations set forth
in other common policies. Hence, it is important to integrate it as far as possible into the Common
Agricultural Policy, the EMS and other directives such as the WFD, the “birds” directive and the
“habitats” directive. For the same reason, halieutic research must progress at an equal pace,
relationships must be built with other disciplines and thematic borders transcended. In this respect, the
progress made under the FP7 is promising, especially the incorporation of fishing-related issues into
the "Environment" priority (which must be maintained).

On the other hand, the connection to the human and social sciences is still too weak, even though it is
crucial to the development of an inclusive approach to the governance of fishing. It has already been
proven in the past that many management methods are scientifically valid, but are not applicable
because they do not factor in the cultural aspects of the society in question. Therefore, the strategy of
setting up Regional Advisory Councils (RACs) is valid and should be consolidated. Such councils
promote mutual understanding between players and the joint ownership of issues and solutions.
Recreational fishing should not be ignored in all this.

Scientific research has a pivotal role in the management process, both in terms of producing data and
providing analysis indicators and evaluation methods.

Recommendation 26: Improve the governance of fisheries


“Think globally, act locally” is a fitting paradigm for the management of fisheries. A balance must be
achieved between European and global decision-making on the one hand, and regional approaches
and developments on the other, which requires in-depth knowledge of local seas. This can only be

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attained through applied studies integrating ecosystem and society, especially in the current context of
transition towards sustainable management in a changing social system.

Recommendation 27: Include scientists in a participatory management system


RACs are innovative tools in the management of fisheries. The participation of scientific bodies
(biologists and economists) in these RACs should be made official, formally defined and coordinated.
In the medium term, this should lead to an effective partnership between researchers and economists.
In the longer term, interested parties should be more involved in decision-making processes, thus
making the fishing sector a responsible and exemplary upholder of the principles of ICZM.

b. Aquaculture
Aquaculture is one of the most rapidly developing activities in the world. It is therefore a potential
source of jobs and wealth. However, apart from a few rare exceptions, this sector is not developing
anywhere near as quickly in Europe. Whereas imports are on the rise and other countries, such as
China and Japan in particular, have adopted a highly proactive policy, aquaculture in EU-25 is
stagnating. The main obstacles to development derive from the general reticence to set up productive
infrastructures, in a context where institutions are hesitating somewhat between several models of
socio-economic development (i.e. tourism vs. aquaculture).

Aquaculture is a long-term source of healthy, nutritious, bio-secured products, the environmental


impact of which can be controlled. The public image of aquacultural products must be enhanced, so
that they are perceived, like other sea products, as being safe. The development of this sector, which
is gradually replacing halieutic activities and should eventually bring down the volume of imports into
Europe, is largely contingent upon the quality of products and production methods (which should not
contain antibiotics and GMOs or have any significant impact on the environment, etc.). In view of the
recent consolidation of animal health and marketing legislation, as well as the new directive on
invasive species, this is an ideal time to adopt a structured approach to the development of
aquaculture. At present, the attention given to aquaculture in the common fisheries policy is
notoriously inadequate.

Recommendation 28: Ensure the sustainable development of aquaculture


The creation of a Common "Aquacultural" Policy, integrating existing legislation on aquaculture and
taking cognizance of the European Strategy (COM 2002 511 final) could be the first step towards
acknowledging and acting on the difficulties encountered by this emerging sector, and could provide
the legal framework needed for sustainable development. Of course, just like the CFP, this new policy
will have to meet integration requirements.

VI. The geographic dimension as an integration factor


The regional approach has two dimensions:
- The region, i.e. a local geographic area and the associated government structures (local
authorities), as opposed to a country;
- The coastline, which provides a more suitable arena for studying the marine environment (the
Baltic and Mediterranean seas, etc.).

a. The governance aspect


The principle of subsidiarity must be the guiding principle, as opposed to national and/or regional
governance. The Green Paper fully recognizes this, as it advocates both the integrated management
of coastal zones (which requires an in-depth knowledge of the areas in question) and the development
of Regional Centres of Maritime Excellence, which are a similar idea to the French competitiveness
cluster: maritime clusters combining two regions (e.g. Brittany and Provence, Alpes, Côte-d’Azur),
which bring together all the public- and private-sector organisations and industrial firms involved in
marine science research. Europe’s regional policy, which is attaching more and more importance to
research and innovation, is in line with the Lisbon strategy. This trend is reflected in France, with the
drawing up of State-Region Project Agreements. We should therefore consider the possibility of
adopting new principles of governance, based on partnerships between regions. The INTERREG
projects have turned out to be an efficient framework for setting up applied research projects (e.g.
MYTILOS/MYTIMED or CHARM), on the scale of a near-shore ocean basin.

15
It is also essential to cooperate with regional research organisations on the development of ICZM and
the collection of data on the maritime economy, in order to facilitate the introduction of documented
regional strategies. Approaching the issues of ICZM and land-sea interfaces through the development
of port facilities is unnecessarily restrictive. Regions provide an ideal arena for the development of
ICZM, provided that they have sufficient data processing capacity. The coastal system must be
continuously monitored in order to analyse improvements over the long term, using so-called
sustainable development indicators. We believe that the best way to do this would be to reinforce the
different aspects of coastal operational oceanography systems (measurement, data networks, and
integrated models).

Recommendation 29: Reinforce the maritime dimension of INTERREG programmes


Maritime-related activities in INTERREG programmes need to be reinforced. The MSUO initiative
(Maritime Safety Umbrella Operation), which was set up under the framework of INTERREG III B
(transnational cooperation), and coordinates projects from 4 different INTERREG programmes, could
be extended to other regions, in particular the Mediterranean. Its focus should also be extended
beyond “maritime security”, to include all issues related to maritime activities and the marine
environment.

Recommendation 30: Harmonise national strategies to improve trans-border coherence and


ICZM implementation
Maritime regions are at the crossroads between national strategy and the EU’s desire for greater
trans-border coherence. To avoid diverging practices, the EU should coordinate and harmonise the
strategies of the different member states, starting with their approach to ICZM. Local experience in all
ICZM-related areas should be collected and gradually incorporated into a generic matrix, for intelligent
future use. Therefore, a strong link between research and practice throughout Europe needs to be set
up, in the form a network similar to the Marine Board or the EFARO.
Two types of measures are available to further the implementation of this network both nationally and
across Europe:
(A) Expertise: we need to increase the number of site studies, evaluate management decision
processes by investigating their impact, and circulate the resulting information to local maritime
organisations.
(B) Political: the future European maritime policy could provide for an intermediate review of the
application of this recommendation, or even regular reviews involving local government bodies.

b. The “regional sea” approach


To optimally manage the marine environment, it is necessary to take regional seas into consideration
individually, as per the EMS (the Baltic and Mediterranean seas, located at either end of the spectrum,
are flagship examples of this). For example, there is a higher degree of certitude about climate
change in the Mediterranean basin (as demonstrated by the models, in which dessication is getting
worse). This issue needs special attention, as it will have an effect on the associated marine and land
ecosystems - input from catchment basins, re-suspension, climate events).
Growing demographic pressure on the shores of an enclosed sea such as the Mediterranean further
deteriorates the environmental situation. Furthermore, due to the specific location of the
Mediterranean, marine problems cannot be addressed without involving countries that are seriously
lagging behind in development terms. This is an additional problem. These difficulties, which are
compounded by the impact of climate change, can only be dealt with at the regional sea scale,
through cooperation between north and south.

Recommendation 31: Support integrated and multi-disciplinary scientific studies


Integrated studies must be conducted on a “per project” basis, to answer social questions (e.g. effects
of anthropogenic pressure on ecosystems) and hence optimise the use of natural resources so that
they will last longer. These studies must be pluridisciplinary and, from the start, should include
research organisations, socio-professional players and stakeholders in network activities.

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The FP should systematically encourage regional integrated studies, using data modelling to organise
disseminated data, backed up by data synthesis. Priority should be given to the Mediterranean. One
possible model could be the ERANET+ project, “BONUS”, developed for the Baltic sea.

c. Ultra-peripheral regions (UPRs)


As part of its regional policy, the EU expects UPRs to act as "active" frontiers, thereby reinforcing its
influence. Research is clearly an ideal channel for doing this.
Although the notion of UPRs is restrictive, as it excludes overseas collectivities, the latter have the
same exceptional features and require the same attention. Despite their marginal status, they are also
first-rate active frontiers and workshop sites. In concrete terms, research in UPRs should focus above
all on establishing their role in maintaining biodiversity, as research outposts in remote tropical areas
(biodiversity in the non-anthropic environments of the Mozambique Canal, the Austral Islands, the
Chesterfield Islands, the Scattered Islands, etc.). On a regional level, their management of Exclusive
Economic Zones must be exemplary; they must fill the role of a European outpost for international
collaboration and act as a European showcase for regional research projects (e.g. the Amazon basin)
and the definition of indicators that can be used by less developed countries in the same areas (e.g.
the Caribbean Islands and the South Pacific).

At present, both European and national research structures are inadequate to meet these objectives.
In the FP7, the only activity that explicitly mentions the UPRs is the "Research Potential" activity.
Under other activities with a regional dimension, such as “Knowledge Regions”, UPRs are on an equal
footing with other European regions, which may be an obstacle to the selection of projects (in addition
to the level of excellence required). Research in the UPRs focuses first and foremost on specific local
needs and expectations (in terms of the economy, the environment and health). Generally speaking, it
is not recognized by the international scientific community. It also lacks appeal, especially for
European researchers, even though these regions are “natural workshops” and some of them are
among the world’s top twelve biodiversity “hot spots”.

Recommendation 32: Place UPRs in an international context


It is perfectly normal that special attention and effort be directed to research issues and themes
relating to UPRs and also, on a larger scale, to the areas in which these UPRs are located. This is in
line with the EU’s development policy (ACP). Such actions should be implemented in all Exclusive
Economic Zones (UPRs and neighbouring countries), under a programme of international cooperation.
Priority should be given to the following themes: biodiversity, the environment and coastal
development, renewable energy, sanitary, climatic and geological risks, operational oceanography and
the deep sea environment.

Recommendation 33: Reinforce the role of URPs as workshop sites


Due to their exceptional features, URPs should become first-choice areas for research and
observation activities of international interest. In particular, experimental platforms supporting
research in the areas of biodiversity, climate change, protected marine reserves and tropical
ecosystems should be set up on a long-term basis. The impact of large-scale developments (e.g. the
nickel mines in New Caledonia) and the concept of Integrated Coastal Zone Management should also
be investigated in a tropical context, where the state of knowledge is less advanced than in European
coastal zones. The EU should support structure-building actions such as the creation of skills centres,
the specific funding of research projects and the promotion of mobility between UPRs, between UPRs
and the parent state, and between UPRs and their neighbouring countries.

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APPENDIX

The major themes of future research


The Ifremer and other French research institutes globally subscribe to the two recently published
documents characterising research needs in Europe’s marine science and technology sector:
- “Trends in European Fisheries and Aquaculture Research”, published by the EFARO
- “Navigating the Future III” published by the Marine Board of the ESF

They also subscribe to the priorities outlined by the EFARO network and the ESF’s Marine Board, as
well as the summary report drawn up by the “Brussels Group” (or KDM group, which should be called
differently) in their proposed response to the Green Paper.

Biodiversity
The risks facing marine biodiversity, as a result of human pressure on both coastal and deep-sea
ecosystems, climate change and the introduction of invasive species, are not adequately discussed in
the Green Paper. Not only do we have insufficient knowledge of the interaction processes between
marine ecosystems, but we are also under-aware of the many benefits provided by marine
biodiversity. Once biodiversity has been lost, it is gone for good; and it takes with it all the potential
good that could have been drawn from it. The further we get from the coast, the truer this is. It is
therefore vital that Europe participates more actively in large-scale programmes aiming to census
marine biodiversity (Cf. Census of Marine Life or CoML), increase understanding of ecosystem
dynamics and the benefits they provide, and develop tools for decision-makers (land use development
in coastal zones for example). There are a growing number of protected maritime areas, which are
instrumental in the preservation of biodiversity. This trend is in line with the objective announced at the
end of the Johannesburg summit, of setting up an extensive network of protected marine areas by
2012. However, the evaluation of their efficiency and the definition of optimal implementation
conditions require specific research, which has not yet attained sufficient magnitude in Europe.

Long-term exploitation of energy resources


The exploitation of marine energy in general, including methane hydrates, which are considered a
promising source of energy for the future. However, a lot of research remains to be done to locate
suitable deposits and develop surface and sub-surface exploration and extraction tools. These tools
will be developed by and with industrialists, but they must first be prototyped and tested by means of
the oceanographic fleet, vessels and/or equipment. The identification of sites and the understanding
and forecasting of the impact of exploitation on the environment are fields of excellence that should be
made more visible throughout Europe, and require unique scientific skills and tools.

Marine biotechnology
Q: What is needed to realise the potential benefits of “blue” biotechnology? (Chap. 2.4, p. 19)
Public funding, which is currently provided in a discontinuous manner by individual member states,
needs to be reorganised on a European scale. Europe should be concentrating on growing and
maintaining collections of strains (e.g. bacteria from deep-sea ecosystems, microalgae) and bio-
prospection (screening). Bio-prospection activities must be accompanied by regulations to protect
resources (deep-sea coral) and the associated ecosystems. Marine biological resources should be
inventoried and valorised under the framework of bilateral partnerships with those who benefit from
them, such as the pharmaceutical, agri-food and cosmetics industries. This would enable the industrial
valorisation and marketing of these resources in a highly competitive context. The advantage of this
inventory process is that it would necessarily create a link between biotechnology and research into
how ecosystems operate.
A high level of synergy is possible with a number of large companies (SANOFI, RHODIA, TOTAL,
SOLVAY), in addition to an industrial innovation policy targeting SMEs (e.g. the marine cluster in
Brittany, which was set up with the company Seadev and illustrates how complementarity can work
within the research-development-production-distribution continuum).
Nevertheless, biotechnology in itself does not possess any specific features. The originality of marine
biotechnology lies more in the resources than in the processes implemented and their objectives. It
should be pointed out that, in France, competitiveness clusters play a leading role in creating cross-
regional links between research, investment and development.

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The sea floor: a new frontier
The sea floor is host to a complex bio-geological system. At present, we have only a partial
understanding of the interactive processes involved in this system, even though our knowledge of the
deep-sea floor has improved considerably over the last century, thanks to expeditions, decades of
deep-sea boring, deep-sea diving, sampling campaigns and mapping. Given the vital role of the deep-
sea floor in the terrestrial biosphere (climate control, oceanic circulation, etc.) and our poor
understanding of bio-geological interactions on the seabed, a new approach is required. Several
different scientific disciplines are interested in the sea floor, due to the variety of processes and
interactions that occur there. These disciplines would benefit from working together. Hence, the three
biggest geo-scientific communities in Europe, involved in sea floor research (deep-sea drilling,
margins and observation), have joined forces to implement a new scientific initiative known as “Deep
Sea Floor Frontier”. The EU needs to confirm its support for this initiative, by providing consolidated
funding via the FP. It should however be pointed out that Europe does not have a long-term policy in
this respect.

Aquaculture
Research into the qualitative improvement of production processes is too often motivated by industrial
profit. Nevertheless, as with other types of primary production, the scope of public interest is
extensive: environmental interactions (local, regional, global), general impact, consumer protection
and risk analysis, prevention and management of epizootic diseases, biological production and
integration into natural environments, etc. At present, the work carried out in these areas is disparate,
and needs to be systematically analysed under the framework of an innovation-based development
policy.

Fishing
Vital progress needs to be made in the following areas of research: stock-recruitment relations,
environmental impact on stock, the economic impact of new management tools, the roles of protected
maritime areas and the modelling of their effects, the evolution of fishing techniques and the definition
of spatialised habitat indicators.
To meet the triple target of the Johannesburg protocol, a joint research programme must be set up
across Europe. It should focus in particular on the role of Maritime Protected Areas in regulating the
dynamics of fish populations, on integrating social and economic science research capacity (including
new developments in governance strategies and management instruments) to ensure the long-term
continuation of fisheries both in human and eco-systemic terms, and developing models and
spatialised indicators (especially relating to stock-recruitment relations), which will enable the
adjustment of man’s predation capacity to the production capacity of the natural environment.
Technological developments (e.g. improvements in fishing equipment and acoustic detection) must
henceforth be analysed and implemented within this context.

Renewable energy
Q: How can innovative offshore renewable energy technologies be promoted and implemented?
(Chapter 2.4, p. 19)
The identification of sites and the understanding and forecasting of the impact of exploitation on the
environment are fields of excellence that should be made more visible throughout Europe, and require
unique scientific skills and tools. Cooperation with the industrial sector is essential to effectively
valorise new developments. The development of renewable energies requires the active engagement
of the workforce and stimulates industrial potential considerably (Total, Alstom, Aker Yards, etc.).
Exploitation of marine energy by other means than offshore wind turbines (tidal currents, waves, deep
currents / offshore tidal power generation, marine thermal energy, unconventional hydrocarbons, etc.).
Developments in this field are at the prototype phase. A prospective feasibility study is required.

ICZM
Q: How can ICZM be successfully implemented? (Chapter 3.4, p. 85)
Q: What data need to be made available for planning in coastal regions? (Chapter 3.1, p. 27)
Integrated coastal zone management is based, above all, on the combining of data and development
scenarios for the purpose of defining a joint solution. It also requires an accurate and accessible
geometric description of these zones, which is still costly to put together. The role of the research
sector is to provide tools for understanding complex socio-environmental systems, in order to facilitate
the public decision-making process. The main hurdles to the implementation of ICZM (on which the
research sector needs to concentrate) are the joint evaluation of non-merchantable goods, the
valorisation of “non-use” (for possible inclusion in national accounting systems), the coupling of human

19
and social sciences with the natural sciences in order to define a holistic representative model, the
definition of a knowledge transfer and, above all, appropriation method via the development of multi-
disciplinary integration tools (models, knowledge bases) that can be understood by the majority of
players, the introduction of relevant indexes grouped together in trend charts, and the development of
a new approach to the use of scientific expertise.

Oceans and climate change


Q: What further steps should the EU take to mitigate the effects of climate change? (Chapter 2.4, p.
19)

Further transversal research programmes are needed to mitigate and understand the effects of climate
change. These programmes will no doubt be more complex than measuring climate change itself, due
to the different knock-on effects. It is absolutely vital to develop models for forecasting climate change
and its global impact. However, at present, the main obstacle to the development of such models is
the lack of long-term observation of chronological series of components in the earth system. Current in
situ observation systems are implemented by research laboratories, on the basis of funding that is not
guaranteed to last (e.g. ARGO). The continuity of spatial measuring is particularly crucial. Yet this
continuity is by no means guaranteed either, and is not likely to be so until ocean observation, like
meteorology, has reached the fully operational stage. This is a strategic challenge for the near future.
The definition of straightforward indicators (such as those that already exist for the atmosphere) to
regularly monitor the state of the ocean is also a major challenge. It will facilitate the production of
regular diagnoses of how the ocean is changing, with a view to better understanding and forecasting
climate change.
The effects of climate change on coastal zones and regional seas will also require more transversal
and multi-disciplinary research programmes, especially in the field of ICZM. Scientific studies on the
vulnerability of coastal regions, economic repercussions and adaptation strategies must be developed.
Coastal systems are subjected to both climate conditions and human activity. The challenge for
scientific research lies in differentiating the effects of these two influences. With regard to the climate,
the role of gas hydrates will also be a key issue over the coming years. As for the question of CO2
storage, several lines of research are yet to be pursued: identification and long-term stability of
potential reservoirs; supervision of storage areas using technologies associated with sub-surface
observatories, and a study of the impact on surface ecosystems and on the ecosystem of deep-sea
microbiological populations. Finally, the transformation of micro-algae into biodiesel using
biotechnological techniques, is also an up-and-coming research area.

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