A transatlantic assessment and deep-water ecosystem-based spatial management plan for Europe

Changing environmental conditions and human activities have major impacts on the distribution and sustainability of living marine resources. This poses a serious challenge to the business and policy that communities are seeking to balance with the societal needs and with environmental sustainability.

Large-scale ocean observation is needed to improve our understanding of how deep ocean ecosystems function, their roles as reservoirs of biodiversity and genetic resources, and their health under future scenarios of climate change and human use.

The ATLAS project is striving to improve our understanding of complex deep-sea ecosystems and their associated species, including those that are new to science. Researchers are looking to predict future changes to these ecosystems and species together with their vulnerabilities in the face of climate change. As well as carrying out pioneering research and discovery, ATLAS is developing a scientific knowledge base that can inform the development of international policies to ensure deep-sea Atlantic resources are managed effectively. This will contribute to the European Commission’s long-term “Blue Growth” strategy to support sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors as a whole.

The concept of the ATLAS project is explained in the following video:

More information about the project can be found at the project website.