Rome, 9th October - The European marine science community today adopted the ‘Rome Declaration’, reflecting its vision of a future marine science agenda.

It is a regrettable irony that some 40+ years after the stark ‘Limits to Growth’ warning of the Club of Rome, this declaration seems to unconditionally supportive of the EU’s Blue Growth agenda.

While achieving an ecosystem approach to the management of Europe’s marine resources was recognised by many as a fundamental agenda, it appeared from presentations that scientists are not ready to challenge the growth paradigm that underlies the EU’s maritime policy, including its push for industrial development of offshore and deep sea areas.

Seas At Risk (as one of the few NGO participants) made an urgent plea for scientists to consider more sustainable models for future marine development, pointing to the NGOs’ call for ‘limits to blue growth’ joint position paper. Seas At Risk also called for precautionary action to prevent irreversible impacts from high risk industries such as deep sea mining.

On a more positive note, Seas At Risk noted the Declaration’s intentions to enhance ocean literacy and the policy-science interface, and the setting up of an Oceans and Human Health programme. At the conference, the European Commission also launched the Joint Research Centre's Marine Strategy Framework Directive Competence Centre.

The EurOCEAN 2014 conference was organised under the auspices of the Italian Presidency and brought together policymakers, industry representatives and marine scientists from a broad range of disciplines.

The Eurocean 2014 Rome Declaration



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