Euromarine Network celebrates its 5th anniversary and reflects on the positive impact it is having on the marine scientific community in Europe

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By Milthon Lujan

The EuroMarine network celebrated its fifth year connecting marine researchers across Europe at its annual General Assembly in Cádiz, Spain (30-31 January). Hosted by CEIMAR (International Campus of Excellence of the Sea) and the University of Cádiz, the event welcomed 59 attendees from 16 countries.

The event served as a timely opportunity to reflect on the network’s key achievements to date. EuroMarine Co-Chair, Dr Catherine Boyen (CNRS, Roscoff) presented some of the network’s impacts to date. Since 2014, the network has re-distributed €554,000 to support 74 bottom-up marine science activities including 44 foresight workshops, 12 training courses, and 12 working groups, and in doing so mobilising over 1,700 scientists in Europe. More activities are planned for the upcoming year which are published on the network’s website.

The launch of the EuroMarine not-for-profit Legal Entity was also celebrated in Cádiz, a major milestone for the network which will provide a suitable vehicle for its operations and further development going forward. Linked to this was a call for members to consider what future services and activities, as well as future funding models, would support the network to continue its excellent work.

The assembly were honoured to welcome IOC-UNESCO Executive Secretary Vladimir Ryabinin to the event, where he outlined the upcoming UN’s Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and described how EuroMarine could support the initiative. He highlighted his interest in the network’s scientific foresight workshops and the recently published “Frontiers in Ocean Research” manifesto, which defines the network’s priorities for future Ocean Research. Kate Larkin, Deputy Head of the EMODnet Secretariat, delivered the second keynote speech, where she presented the work of EMODnet and the important role of marine scientists in both inputting data and using the repositories and tools available.

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The scientific session allowed EuroMarine-sponsored activity organisers to present the results of their workshops. This year they included presentations on burning issues such as ocean plastics, the effect of wind farms on ecosystems and Ocean conservation.

Last year saw the establishment of EuroMarine’s Young Scientist Working Group, early-stage career researchers who self-organised and consulted their peers on pressing issues for young scientists. Their findings were presented to the General Assembly and stimulated discussions on how to promote and support the young scientist community within the network. The impressive work of the group prompted the Assembly to invite a permanent representative of the young scientists to the EuroMarine Steering Committee.

What was clear from the General Assembly was that EuroMarine has demonstrated the valuable role it can play in Europe. Going forward it intends to expand its membership and to cement its position within the marine research community. The network is currently welcoming collaborations with international foundations, which will create closer links with funding organisations with common goals. Closer links could help to ensure that the network can continue to represent and respond to the needs of marine scientists.

The next General Assembly will be hosted by the Marine Biology Station in Piran, Slovenia in early 2020.

To find out more about this year’s event, please click here to visit the EuroMarine website. 

Source: AquaTT

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