As the EU marked European Maritime Day this month, a Government-backed report has been published reviewing private and public sector marine science and evidence needs. It also assesses the ability of the UK’s private sector marine science and technology sector to meet those needs, and opportunities for future growth.
Faced with a growing requirement to understand the ocean, manage conflicting uses and meet the requirements of new UK and EU legislation, there is a growing realisation that the private sector has a vital role to play in providing marine science data to policy makers and marine managers.
The report carries a number of positive messages: the UK has a strong marine science and technology sector that is growing and exporting; the sector is optimistic about the future and is well placed to meet public and private sector needs and priorities over the short, medium and long term, with no insurmountable gaps in capacity or capability. However, there are shortages in specific skills and expertise that will need to be addressed.
The report’s publication has been welcomed by the National Oceanography Centre (NOC).
The review was commissioned Marine Industry Liaison Group (MILG) of the UK Government’s Marine Science Coordination Committee of which NOC is a member. It was compiled by Marine Planning Consultants, ABPMer and Peter Barham Environmental, and is published this month by Defra.
The report concludes that the private sector has a strong appetite for more collaborative working but that change will be needed to realise the full potential to the UK economy and our ability to grow and export our capability.