New wave of scientific trans-Atlantic cooperation

THE first trans-Atlantic mapping survey to take place under the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance was announced in Brussels yesterday.
The Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer will undertake a mapping expedition between St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, and Galway in Ireland in June this year.
In an example of scientific diplomacy in action, scientists from the Marine Institute, Ireland, will be joined by a multi-national team made up of US, Canadian and European ocean mapping experts.
The announcement was made by Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney; European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas; Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries in Brussels; and Canada’s Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Gail Shea.
Coveney (pictured) said: ‘Information from the sea floor is vital to the sustainable management of the Atlantic, as well as to important industries such as fisheries, aquaculture and tourism.
‘Ireland has developed a world leading reputation for sea bed mapping and is also very committed to the implementation of the Galway Statement [of May 2013] and so I am delighted to put at the disposal of the team, Ireland’s state-of the art research vessel-RV Celtic Explorer.’
Vella also welcomed the announcement, saying the team ‘embodies the spirit of cooperation that we need in the field of ocean governance’.
‘Their work will help inform the mapping of the European seabed, which is set to be completed by 2020.’
The move follows the 2013 signing of the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Research Cooperation between the EU, Canada and the United States of America.