EurOcean 2014, convened by the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the European Marine Board, the European Commission and three Italian partner institutions—the National Research Council, National Inter-university Consortium for Ocean Science and the National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics—has issued the first of 18 priorities cited in a declaration that adds momentum to a European Marine Board report, Linking Oceans and Human Health (Tinyurl.com/OceansAndHealth). Participants identified four high-level policy goals: valuing the ocean; capitalizing on European leadership; advancing ocean knowledge; and breaking scientific barriers.
Newly discovered toxic nanoparticles and swelling micro-plastic marine pollution, with concerns emerging about higher seawater temperatures incubating chemical carcinogens, pose several new perils to human health.
Jan Mees, chair of the European Marine Board, states, “To truly progress our knowledge, European scientists across a broad range of disciplines and domains must make a quantum leap towards holistic approaches and integrated research on a scale that will help us to much better understand, protect, manage and sustainably exploit the seas and oceans that surround us. This is a grand challenge; not just in Europe, but for human society as a whole.”