1 › MARINE AND COASTAL RESOURCES AND BIODIVERSITY
Preservation and sustainable use of marine and coastal resources for the benefit of all people living around the Atlantic Ocean.
Economic activities related to marine resources and biodiversity, include, but are not limited to, fisheries, aquaculture, and blue biotechnology. The sustainability of these activities is affected by the responsible use of marine resources and the conservation of its biodiversity.
According to the 2019 Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate marine and coastal ecosystems in the Atlantic have been affected by climate-driven environmental changes. This promoted shifts in the distribution and abundance of species, posing challenges to the economic activities and to ocean and fisheries governance in the Atlantic region.
The United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, through the Sustainable Development Goal 14 – Life Below Water, states the advancement of scientific knowledge and marine technology as one of its targets for sustainable development, with key relevance for several Atlantic countries:
“Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries”.
The AIR Centre aims to provide scientific knowledge and tools to support the development of Atlantic’s marine resources while concomitantly mitigating environmental impacts and conserving marine biodiversity. The preservation of marine resources by the AIR Centre is focused on fisheries, aquaculture, marine spatial planning, and the use of Ocean Accounting systems.
Projects and programmes for the ethical use of living and non-living marine resources focused on new applications and innovations for sustainable economic development will consider:
- Map biodiversity mapping and identify the genetic resources of the Atlantic Ocean with focus on Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas (EBSAs), Ecosystem Services, Functions and Valuation.
- Development of innovative tools for sustainable/ responsible fisheries, ocean observing systems, modelling, and apps for small scale fisheries.
- Expansion in Aquaculture production capacity focused on increasing offshore activities, integration of technologies, operational practices for open ocean farming, Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) approaches, and development of an international legal framework for the ocean and marine activities.
- Significant economic potential expected in the ‘Blue Biotechnology’, marine biomedicine, and co-culture of low-trophic species and marine biofuels to promote carbon sequestration and storage).
- Study on the impact of the Deep Sea Mineral Resources; industry platforms for non-commercial marine data and increase of business-academic collaboration.