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Minister of the Sea present in an event organized by CESAM on the scope of the deep ocean in the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development

Minister of the Sea present in an event organized by CESAM on the scope of the deep ocean in the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development

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Deep ocean is the major bioma of the planet and many remain unknown, particularly regarding biodiversity and ecosystems functioning. However, it is largely recognized that human well-being is highly related with the integrity of the deep ecosystems due to several services such as climatic regulation and resources availability. In general, for society, the deep ocean is a remote and unknown place with almost no biodiversity and clear inaccessibility. Nevertheless, a combination of geological, physical and geochemical factors creates a vast number of complex habitats with unique characteristics that, together, contribute to the environmental balance of our planet. Fauna from these habitats, present specific adaptations to high pressure, darkness, low temperatures, lack of food and, in some cases, isolation. Consequently, generally, animal physiology and the function of deep ocean ecosystems are highly different from the ones of terrestrial and shallow waters environments. Moreover, biodiversity from bathyal and abyssal depths is among the more elevated in the planet and the discovering potential is huge ranging from new genetic resources to new roles that these habitats play in the marine environment. In this context, the functioning and the ecosystem services supported by deep ocean biodiversity together with the impacts and resilience of the deep-ocean to human activity, is a major gap of knowledge.

Historically, one of the great limitations to the knowledge of the deep ocean is the fact that the approach is fragmented and biased, with data collected mainly in the North Hemisphere and in the Exclusive Economic Zones of developed countries. United Nations have declared 2021-2030 as the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and on its roadmap, UN recognizes the lack of data in the deep ocean as an obstacle to the sustainable management of the oceans and requests the scientific community collaboration and coordination when planning the oceanic science. Scientific community in the deep ocean has answered to this challenge through two international initiatives: (1) Deep-Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI) which contributes to the identification of the priority scientific questions for the Decade and the technological potential necessary to answer these questions, and (2) the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) that supports a working group aiming to plan a global approach using standard and adapted methods to the different habitats for the acquisition and integration of biological data of the deep ocean, and create technology transfer resources and capacitate human resources for the ocean sciences.

CESAM has an essential role in this process, by coordinating these working groups. Moreover, CESAM had organized a DOSI workshop for the identification of the scientific priorities for the Decade (October 2018) and is now receiving SCOR for its first meeting (22-24 January 2020). This event will have a public session on January 24 which will have the presence of several national and international researchers, together with the national Minister of the Sea, Dr. Ricardo Serrão Santos. The program of this public event can be consulted below.

 

THE DEEP OCEAN IN THE UNDECADE OF OCEAN SCIENCE FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

 24 January 2020, University of Aveiro (Anfiteatro do DEMaC, Building 9, room 9.1.1)

14.30 Welcome and introduction

Prof. Paulo Jorge Ferreira, Rector of the University of Aveiro (TBC); Dr. Ana Hilário, University of Aveiro

14.50 Advances since the Census of Marine Life (2000-2010) and challenges for the next decade

Dr. Paul Snelgrove, Memorial University, Newfoundland, Canada

15.10 Deep-Ocean science programmes in the Decade

Prof. Lisa Levin, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, USA

15.30 The role of Portugal in a Decade of deep-ocean science

Dr. Ricardo Serrão Santos, Minister of the Sea, Portugal & Member of the Executive Planning Group of the Decade

16.00 Round table discussion

Moderator: Dr. Ana Colaço, University of the Azores, Portugal

 

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