The agreement focuses on aligning the ocean observation efforts of the three partners. The goals are to better understand the Atlantic Ocean and to promote the sustainable management of its resources.
The work will also study the interplay of the Atlantic Ocean with the Arctic Ocean, particularly with regards to climate change. The EU and its Member States alone invest nearly two billion euro on marine and maritime research each year. The ‘Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation’ was signed at a high level conference at the Irish Marine Institute in Galway. The Prime Minister of Ireland, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, attended the event.
European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, said: “The enormous economic potential of the Atlantic remains largely untapped. We probably know more about the surface of the Moon and Mars than we do about the deep sea floor. This alliance can make a big contribution to meeting challenges such as climate change and food security.”
European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, said: “Today’s agreement builds on the Atlantic Action Plan we put forward this month. While the initiative is of particular interest for the EU’s five Atlantic states, it is open to researchers from all over Europe and beyond. The knowledge gained will be of benefit to all.”
The agreement recognises that Atlantic research will in many areas be more effective if coordinated on a transatlantic basis. Areas identified for potential cooperation under the agreement include:
- Ocean observation
- Sharing of data, such as on temperature, salinity and acidity
- Interoperability and coordination of observing infrastructures, such as measurement buoys and research vessels
- Sustainable management of ocean resources
- Seabed and benthic habitat mapping
- Promoting researcher mobility
- Identifying and recommending future research priorities
More information and Source: SEAS ERA