David Johnson has been awarded the 2017 Institute of Marine Engineering Science and Technology (IMarEST) International award. The International award recognises an individual who has undertaken activities or actions to help developing countries improve their ability to comply with international rules and standards relating to marine safety and the protection of the environment or a contribution to human resources development or institutional capacity building. IMarEST is the international professional body and learned society for all marine professionals and this award acknowledges David’s outstanding contribution to conserving marine biodiversity. Read more

GOBI secures new 5-year programme: The GOBI partnership has been awarded a grant of €5.2m from the German International Climate Initiative to continue its work in supporting the conservation of life in the deep seas and open oceans. The funding will enable the continuation of the GOBI Secretariat, provided by Seascape Consultants, and will also support a suite of scientific studies to be carried out by GOBI partners. Read more

Seascape Consultants appointed to undertake first periodic review of the ISA: On 29 January 2016, it was announced that Seascape Consultants have been commissioned to assist the ISA in its first periodic review of the manner in which the international regime for the Area has operated in practice, in line with Article 154 of UNCLOS. Read more

MSP Assistance Mechanism project awarded: A new project, funded by the EC’s DG Fisheries & Maritime Affairs and lead by consultancy firm S.Pro, is now underway to assist Member States with advice on technical issues related to the implementation of the MSP Directive. Seascape will provide expertise for a technical study on data needs and knowledge gaps for MSP, and will also provide regional support for MSP in the North Sea basin. The project started in December 2015 for an initial period of 12 months.

EMODnet conference takes Ostend by storm: The first EMODnet Open Conference, organised by the EMODnet Secretariat with support from VLIZ and DG MARE, took place in Ostend on 20 October 2015. The event provided a unique forum for the marine observation and data community to meet and discuss the many challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in the effective management of marine data. Read more

Keynote at MASTS 2015: On 29 September 2015, Phil Weaver presented a keynote address on “Deep-Sea Mining, Current Status, Potential Impacts and Knowledge Gaps” at the annual MASTS (Marine Alliance for Science & Technology for Scotland) meeting in Glasgow.

GOBI Secretariat at PMCE 2015: GOBI team members David Johnson and Vikki Gunn attended the Progress in Marine Conservation in Europe conference in Stralsund Germany, where David presented a keynote address on “The global ocean process of identifying EBSAs: What now, what next?“. Read more

Panel on deep-sea conservation: Phil Weaver took part as an invited panellist at a roundtable meeting of managers and scientists who shared their perspectives on current and expected conservation problems in the deep sea. The discussion was mediated by the Portuguese Directorate-General for Marine Resources, Environment and Maritime Affairs (DGRM) and took place on 1 September 2015, during the Deep Sea Biology Symposium in Aveiro.

ISA Annual Meeting, July 2015: Phil Weaver and David Johnson attended the International Seabed Authority’s annual meeting in Kingston, Jamaica where they presented the MIDAS project, including recent work on developing a Strategic Environmental Management Plan for the Atlantic basin of the Area. They were joined by Professor Pedro Martinez from the Senckenberg Institute (a MIDAS partner) who presented some recent results from a research expedition to the central Pacific.

EcoDeep-SIP Workshop, Tokyo: Phil Weaver was an invited participant at the EcoDeep-SIP Workshop in Tokyo: “Assessing deep sea ecosystems in the Pacific Ocean” (29 June – 1 July 2015 ). This workshop brought together experts to discuss conservation criteria for environmental management plans in the deep-sea, to examine the potential intensity of the impacts and identify major knowledge gaps.

SEA for the Atlantic: David Johnson and Phil Weaver participated in a workshop in Horta, Azores (1-3 June 2015) to develop a roadmap toward a Strategic Environmental Management Plan for the Atlantic basin of the Area. The meeting was jointly supported by the MIDAS project, DG MARE, the Government of the Azores, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, the Kaplan Fund and Oceans5.

European Maritime Day: Phil Weaver and Jan-Bart Calewaert attended the European Maritime Day in Athens (28-29 May 2015), where Phil moderated a session on “Marine data and information powering Blue Growth”.

9th Arctic Council Ministerial meeting, 23-26 April 2015:David Johnson attended the 2015 Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting on behalf of ACOPS and GOBI. Take home messages included the need to advance natural and social science research; common concerns regarding relative sea-level rise; recognition of longstanding efforts on behalf of many Observers; and incentives for future cooperation. Read more…

Debate on the future of deep-sea mining: On 15-16 April 2015 Phil Weaver attended a workshop on “Deep-Sea Mining: an Uncertain Future?”organised by the Institute for Advanced Studies and GEOMAR – Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel.  Read more…

Seascape welcomes new team members   Seascape is delighted to welcome two new team members in April 2015. Belén Martín Míguez and Oonagh McMeel will join Jan-Bart Calewaert in the Oostende office to strengthen the EMODnet Secretariat team and to provide expertise for the new H2020 AtlantOS and COLUMBUS projects. For more details, please see our About Us page.

Seascape starts work on H2020 projects  Spring 2015 sees the start of a number of new research projects funded under the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme. Seascape is excited to be partner in three projects – AtlantOS, COLUMBUS and INMARE. Read more…

Deep-sea mining issues addressed at ICES-WGDEC meeting  Phil Weaver attended the ICES WGDEC working group meeting in Horta, Azores on 16-20 February 2015. At the meeting he made a presentation reviewing the present global position on deep-sea mining, which was followed by a presentation from Telmo Morato (IMAR/U.Azores) on developments in the North Atlantic. He then led a subgroup that reported on the potential impacts of deep-sea mining on vulnerable deep-water habitats. The report from the meeting is available to download from the ICES website.

Seascape supports campaign to end deep-sea trawling in Europe   Seascape Managing Director Phil Weaver joined fellow scientists and MPs in calling for an end to destructive bottom trawling below 600m in European waters. At a recent event at the UK’s House of Commons, Prof. Weaver presented relevant research results from the HERMIONE project that demonstrate the fragility of deep-sea ecosystems and their vulnerability to bottom trawling. Read more…