With the global oceans' bio-diversity under siege and the evolving understanding of the threat of climate change, a number of activities related to ocean monitoring, sampling and observation are coming together across Europe. These efforts have often been piecemeal as a means to plug perceived deficiencies in a nations goal towards protecting the natural resources at sea and often disconnected either with researchers in the field of science and technology or the funding opportunities or both.
Portugal with its historic legacy of maritime exploration has proposed an ambitious goal in the context of the extension of continental shelf as submitted to the United Nations. According to the submission, if the limits are confirmed, the maritime boundaries of the republic will enlarge to the extant that upwards of 65% of marine traffic to/from the European Union will pass through Portuguese waters. The state has also encouraged the growth of bio-diversity with the designation of a number of zones in the ocean as Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s).
These bring together substantial challenges over and beyond drawing lines on a map, for the state to monitor, protect and enhance the maritime areas under national jurisdiction in the context of domestic and European laws and its natural role as a seaward facing nation.
The Underwater Systems and Technology Laboratory of Faculty of Engineering Univ. of Porto (FEUP), is organizing this two day event to foster scientific, technical and programmatic networking, to lay out key challenges in ocean monitoring and surveillance. The objective is to pull together a community of researchers at the cutting-edge in science, engineering, maritime law and marine policy from Portugal and EEA (European Economic Area) donor countries of Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein to prioritize research areas and foster cooperation under EEA Grants especially for work in the area of smart sensors, monitoring platforms and interoperability test cases.
The meeting is organized along participatory lines with substantial opportunities for interaction and networking. The expectation is that talks will be brief, but substantial dialog to follow will delve in depth between all participants of the event. The meeting will provide ample opportunity for interaction between all participants.