At the heart of marine environmental management is a sound scientific understanding built upon robust data sources. However, both emerging and long-established Blue Growth sectors face challenges in accessing environmental data that unifies commercial, academic and government information. Issues surrounding data to support blue growth are now particularly pertinent for the North Sea as the basin is in a period of transition as the oil and gas industry enters its decommissioning phase. This workshop will address key issues in the provision, analysis, application and long-term storage of marine environmental data relevant to oil and gas decommissioning and the growth of marine renewables. Drawing from the experiences of researchers in the INSITE and H2020 ATLAS projects together with industry expertise, participants will discuss the challenges and opportunities of providing holistic open-access environmental data to all stakeholders in the marine environment. This workshop followed on from the Blue Growth Data Challenge Part 1: Engaging Industry.


Niall McDonough (Executive Secretary of the European Marine Board): Decommissioning and blue growth: the need for data-driven management

Richard Heard (INSITE Programme Director): The INSITE Programme: A Successful Industry-Science Partnership

Mark Johnston and Mel Netherway (BP plc): Challenges and benefits of marine environmental baselines

Chelsea Bradbury (Marine Data Advisor, Crown Estate): Offshore Renewables – Unlocking a Wealth of Information

Silvia Camporeale (Researcher Università Bicocca Milano – CRIET for the Italian Ministry of Economic Development) and Valter Martinotti (Project Manager RSE of the "Safe and Sustainable Decommissioning" project for the Italian Ministry of Economic Development): Multi-propose off-shore platforms: from traditional mining to a blue growth opportunity

Chair: J. Murray Roberts (University of Edinburgh, Project Coordinator, ATLAS)

What did we learn?

1) Emerging marine industries in sea basins across Europe would benefit from the lessons learned during North Sea decommissioning and the need to take into account the full lifecycle of the structure.
2) Feasibility studies for a variety of maritime industries can produce a wealth of data, even if the project did not take place. However, this needs to be gathered and stored in a central data repository before it is lost.
3) Physics and chemistry datasets are significantly easier to standardise and produce data products from compared to biological data.

What needs to be done?

1) Environmental data sets need to be future proofed by thinking about potential future uses and in practice collecting marine environmental data at the highest possible resolution.
2) Standardise collection techniques for time series data to allow comparisons to be made across years and datasets.
3) Consideration of mapping the North Sea basin and making it a freely available public asset.

More details on the INSITE programme can be found here:

European Maritime Day is the annual meeting point for Europe's maritime community to network, discuss and forge joint action. The EMD 2017 conference and exhibition was held on 18-19 May 2017 in Poole.