EMB launches new position paper on marine research vessels | Compendium Coast and Sea

EMB launches new position paper on marine research vessels

The European Marine Board Position Paper 25 "Next Generation European Research Vessels: Current Status and Foreseeable Evolution", produced in collaboration with the European Research Vessel Operators (ERVO) community, provides an extensive view of the current European research fleet and updates the findings and recommendations of the 2007 EMB Position Paper 10 on "European Ocean Research Fleets - Towards a Common Strategy and Enhanced Use". It is the result of the activities of the EMB Working Group on Research Vessels.

The further development of our understanding of the ocean is fundamental to addressing many of the global challenges facing today's society, such as climate change and food supply. Research vessels are an important infrastructure in this respect, enabling scientists to collect the data and carry out the research needed to increase this knowledge. However, research vessels and their equipment are large and sophisticated, and inevitably expensive, infrastructures. It is therefore crucial that the importance and indispensable role of these ships is clear and that appropriate investments are made to ensure that scientific support continues.

The position paper provides an overview of the current fleet, its capabilities and its management. It then looks to the future and highlights what is needed to ensure that the European fleet can continue to provide the same high level of scientific support, particularly in specialised areas such as the deep-sea and polar regions. Issues such as fleet staff training, fleet management and the role of research vessels in the wider context of ocean observation and the European Ocean Observing System (EOOS) will also be addressed.

The position paper and a fact sheet can be downloaded from the EMB website.