Luso hydrothermal vent field. © ROV Luso, Portuguese Task Force for the Extension of the Continental Shelf

The Regional Government of the Azores recently declared the Luso hydrothermal vent field a Marine Protected Area fully protected from fisheries (Portaria n.º 68/2019).

Dalhousie Castle Hotel

We are delighted to open registration for the 5th and final ATLAS General Assembly next March 8-13 in Edinburgh! We have secured beautiful venues for the meeting and accommodation, and look forward to sharing Scottish hospitality with you. We need to know numbers earlier than in previous years, and we'd be very grateful if you could register online as soon as possible to secure one of our block booking of rooms. We have a limited number we can accommodate on the one site, so it is first come, first served.

Please register at this link. Payment of £550 includes all accommodation and catering (except Tuesday dinner) from Sunday evening's welcome reception and dinner, thorugh to Friday morning, with departure after breakfast). A whisky tasting and ceilidh on the Wednesday and Thursday evenings is also included. Please note dinner on Tuesday evening is the only meal NOT catered for. Payment should be made online at this secure ePay link as soon as possible and preferably before the end of the year, please. If you plan to attend the whole meeting, but are happy to share a twin room, the cost is £375. Delegates are encouraged to attend the whole meeting, but the reduced rate of £375 is also possible for part attendance. A draft agenda can be found here.

ATLAS exhibition at EMSEA 2019, (c) Natalie Walls

The EMSEA Annual conference brings together marine educators from all over Europe to showcase projects, share ideas and make contacts. This year's was the seventh, hosted at Expolab, a science centre on the island of São Miguel in the Azores.

Atlantic Adventure with ATLAS (c) Annette Wilson & Natalie Walls

Last month, the ATLAS team were invited to bring their research to the Science is Wonderful! exhibition held in Brussels. The two-day event, which attracted more than 3000 visitors, showcased some of the amazing work taking place on Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and EU-funded research and innovation projects, through hands-on experiments, live demonstrations, interactive tools and face-to-face chats with researchers.

Image showing visitors discovering deep-sea species in their habitat

ATLAS was represented at the 2019 European Researchers' Night in Vigo, Spain last September 27th in the museum “Casa das Artes” (House of Arts). The IEO-VIGO ATLAS team helped to bring light to the darkness of the Atlantic deep-sea, with an interactive outreach event highlighting the importance of research and conservation of Atlantic deep-sea ecosystems.

The second OpenSeaLab Hackathon took place in Ghent, Belgium, from the 4th to the 6th of September 2019 and offered marine data enthusiasts the opportunity to work in groups to develop new tools and products related to three marine themes:

  1. sustainable blue economy
  2. blue society and ocean literacy
  3. marine environment protection and management.

The global demand for oceanographic data, information and services is rapidly increasing. This has driven a rapid expansion in ocean data collection to support numerous sectors from science, industry and public authorities. However, to achieve a balanced and sustainable human interaction with our seas, ocean data and information needs to be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR) across multiple parameters, spatial scales and resolutions.

3rd Science to Policy Panel, 2019. (c) ATLAS project office

The 3rd ATLAS science-policy meeting took place in Brussels on Wednesday 22 May 2019. The meeting aimed to link research and policy, establish an ongoing dialogue with stakeholders and potential users of ATLAS results, and to provide policymakers and stakeholders with timely and relevant scientific knowledge in support of policy developments.

Book cover of Mediterranean Cold-Water Corals: Past, Present and Future

 We are delighted that ATLAS partner Cova Orejas and co-editor Carlos Jiménez have a new book out now. Mediterranean Cold-Water Corals: Past, Present and Future is the first Springer volume specifically dedicated to Mediterranean Cold-water coral ecosystems. 

Open Sea Lab Image

Are you a Coder? Communicator? Data enthusiast? Or Entrepreneur?

EMODnet is organising its second Open Sea Lab (OSLII) from 4-6 September in Ghent, Belgium. Open Sea Lab is a hackathon (but much more), where teams compete to create novel applications using marine open data, within one of three challenge areas: Marine Environmental Management and Protection; Sustainable Blue Economy; and Ocean Literacy and a Blue Society.


Save the Date to sail into the new phase of the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Voyage!

There have been many achievements by policymakers, many EU-funded projects, and stakeholders from Atlantic coastal countries and beyond, since the signing of the Galway Statement (2013) and the Belém Statement (2017). Join the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Forum to celebrate these, at a meeting taking place in the Charlemagne Building, Brussels, 6 – 7 February 2020. 


We are delighted to have secured the beautiful Playfair Library at the University of Edinburgh's centrally located Old College for our 5th and final General Assembly. We have also secured a number of rooms in a hotel just 5 minutes walk from the venue. Registration information will be circulated in due course, but we look forward to welcoming you from Sunday evening 8th March to Thursday evening 12th March 2020.  This final ATLAS General Assembly will be in 2 parts. The first part will start with a welcome reception and dinner at the Playfair Library on the evening of Sunday 8th March. Monday 9th and Tuesday 10th March will be dedicated to plenary sessions, and the assembly will finish with a Scottish ceilidh and whisky tasting on Tuesday evening.

The second part of the meeting will take the form of a writing workshop. Delegates will check out of accommodation at KM Central on the Wednesday morning, where a bus will take us to an inspirational countryside hotel for 2 days, in order to work on writing papers. Delegates will depart on the Friday 13th March, after breakfast.

The meeting will coincide with the 6 Nations Rugby match between Scotland and France, so registration will open soon to enable us to gauge numbers. Anyone wishing to watch the rugby should contact Julia at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.k to coordinate this as a group.


ATLAS partner Prof David Johnson from Seascape Consultants Ltd has just returned from the Deep Sea Conference 2019, which took place at the headquarters of the Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome.

We recently said farewell to Emma Paterson (Dynamic Earth) who enthused us all with the science communication materials she showcased last month at the ATLAS General Assembly.  Please take a look at the education tab on our website to see the wealth of materials which are freely available. Some examples are here: educational portfolio. Here are some farewell words from Emma, together with a welcome and introduction to Natalie Walls.

Murray Roberts at the ATLAS General Assembly

Following our 4th General Assembly in Mallorca last month, presentations are now available online at Zenodo. You can find the talks for each day below. Where there is no link, I've not yet received permission to make the presentation open access.

Frontiers Research Topic - Managing Deep-sea Ecosystems at Ocean Basin Scale

The deadline for the Frontiers Research Topic is 29 February 2020 for full manuscripts. 

You can find more information here:

Side event from the first Intergovernmental Conference on BBNJ

ATLAS is pleased to be part of a side event taking place during the second session of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on BBNJ which takes place from 25 March to 5 April. This conference will discuss an international legally binding instrument under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ).

The side event will take place on 26 March from 1.15 pm to 2.30 pm, and is being co-organised by the International Coastal and Ocean Organisation (Secretariat of the Global Ocean Forum, GOF), the Permanent Mission of Monaco to the United Nations, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, the Ocean Policy Research Institute of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Japan, and ATLAS.

The purpose of the side event is to be of assistance to States in the BBNJ process in crafting an effective and well supported system of BBNJ capacity development and technology transfer, bringing together global, regional and national levels of governance.

For more information, please see the event flyer.