Published today, the Future of the Sea report investigates the role science and technology can play in understanding and tackling the pressures affecting the ocean.
Prof. Melanie Austen, Head of Science for PML’s Sea and Society group, was one of 6 experts on the advisory group working with the UK’s Government Office for Science to help identify trends, challenges and opportunities.
“Our oceans provide us with many goods and services, not just the obvious ones like food, energy and transport, but some less tangible ones such as the oxygen we breathe, climate control, and our health; they are crucial to our economy and our wellbeing,” said Austen. “Never has there been a greater need to understand how the oceans function, and by using the latest technologies we can begin to get deeper insights into the life-giving seas across our planet. This report highlights some of those opportunities.”
Read the full report here
Autonomous vessels, robotics and other emerging technologies are creating a new generation of economic activity. They will allow us to observe and map previously unexplored areas of the sea and improve our understanding of the marine environment. The increase in potential from autonomous vehicles means that areas such as data transfer, sensing, communication technology and improved data transfer between autonomous vehicles and satellites, will be of growing importance across the marine economy.
Science, industry and government all have a shared interest in a productive, healthy and well-understood sea. There are many opportunities for closer collaboration to achieve greater marine exploration, protection and economic output.
The marine environment changes over inherently long timescales and emerging industries require a long-term commitment in order to demonstrate success. For these reasons, a long-term approach to decision making is important from both an economic and environmental perspective.