More interdisciplinary research is needed under a coordinated plan to improve sea management, a report by the Joint Research Centre and European Academies Science Advisory Council has said.
Policymakers are facing a fundamental challenge in trying to achieve sustainable use of the seas while meeting population and economic demands, the report says, and an equally fundamental shift in marine research is needed to achieve this. This should be structured under a long-term but flexible marine strategy that sets up holistic, interdisciplinary research programmes, promotes shared EU and member state funding, coordinates marine observation and sets up a unified data infrastructure, it states.
“The fact that the oceans are connected systems that do not operate according to national boundaries or human organisational structures means that marine research in Europe needs to be structured accordingly,” the report says. This requires international coordination, as there are risks that "individual states might act with different timings, rationales, care and expertise”.