Availability and easy access to a wide range of natural and human activity data on the oceans and coastal regions of Europe is the basis for strategic decision-making on coastal and maritime policy. Nevertheless, the availability of consistent, accessible marine socio-economic data for the AA regions is however limited. Scientists, regulators and commercial bodies need such data if they are to contribute towards a sustainable development of the maritime and coastal economy that is in harmony with coastal and marine ecosystems and also with the EU Commission’s Europe 2020 Strategy.
MARNET will establish a network of marine research institutions, regional bodies, economists and sociologists with a common interest in the analysis of the economic utility of the marine environment derived from the productivity of associated marine ecosystems along the AA. It also aims to build research capacity at the EU regional level in the collection and analysis of marine socio-economic data and its application in models, forecasts, indicators and scenario development.
This network intends to create and collate comprehensive comparable marine socio-economic data and utilise this data to support marine socio-economic development initiatives along Europe’s Atlantic periphery. An interactive map will also be developed to plot the specific areas of marine activities throughout Atlantic regions. MARNET will collect marine socio-economic data for the AA for the first time. The exercise has been undertaken at national level heretofore.
MARNET intends thereby to enhance the competitiveness and sustainable development of the Atlantic periphery contributing to the definition of policies and economic development planning across a range of marine related sectors and regions, through the continuous supply of a solid set of information. In the long term this network intends to become a recognised collaboration of institutions with marine socio-economic expertise available for consultation with a range of EU institutes and stakeholders across a range of marine sectors and regions.
The marine socio-economic information system that is proposed within this project should also provide a template for other European States to follow that could potentially facilitate the construction of a Europe-wide marine information system as envisaged under the EU Integrated Maritime Policy.