Pressures on semi-enclosed seas, including how to monitor and combat marine litter, was just one of the topics discussed at a joint EU-China event on marine monitoring. EMODnet joined experts from the EU and China’s State Oceanographic Department to compare different approaches, learn from each other and identify areas of collaboration in marine monitoring and forecasting, marine data management, marine spatial planning and the blue economy. This event follows a successful meeting held earlier this year.
The event, held in the context of the EU-China Blue Year, was opened by Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and Mr. Wang Hong, Administrator of State Oceanic Administration of China. Commissioner Vella stressed the importance of monitoring and data, saying that investment in the blue economy was dependent on information, both on marine resources and on the risks associated with the marine environment. Remarking on the opportunity that China and the EU now had to identify opportunities for collaboration and to make better use of their combined investments in monitoring and observation, Commissioner Vella said that if the EU and China could find common ground, the rest of the world would follow. Administrator Wang echoed these sentiments, noting the efforts and commitment to ocean monitoring in China and proposed several opportunities for joint collaboration between the EU and China in this area. A series of very interesting presentations followed, from both Chinese and EU experts, on ocean monitoring and forecasting, handling big data, marine litter, monitoring and pressures on the Baltic, Mediterranean and South China Sea, as well as how to measure natural capital in the context of the blue economy.