Major Conference on Future of Europe’s Seas Opens in Galway

EurOCEAN 2004, a major marine science policy conference attended by 500 policy makers, strategic planners, marine scientists and stakeholders, will examine the future of European seas over the next four days (10th -13th May) at the Radisson Hotel, Galway.

The conference aims to review the input of marine Research & Development (R&D) supported under the EU’s 5th Framework Programme, and identify future marine R&D challenges and opportunities.

Over 50% of the European Research Area is underwater, comprising Member and Associated State Exclusive Economic Zones and Extended Continental Shelves stretching from the Artic through the Baltic, Atlantic, Mediterranean and Black Seas. It represents a major natural resource, which must be managed wisely based on good scientific advice.

Among the issues to be addressed are the development of renewable ocean energy, the protection of marine biodiversity, a new ecosystem approach to fisheries management, safe and efficient maritime transport, and marine research infrastructures and priorities for the future.

Dr. Peter Heffernan, CEO Marine Institute, who opens the conference this evening will welcome the seven new coastal member states to the conference:

“Through co-ordinated marine R&D efforts and infrastructure we can realise the full potential of our shared marine resource including new products from the sea and new renewable energy and together address the challenges that confront us, such as sustainable development, marine environmental pollution and the negative impacts of climate change.

We are meeting here in Galway because we believe that Europe’s marine resource is significant and that through co-operation and the application of science and technology we can contribute to its sustainable future development.” Full details of the conference are available on