Understanding and protecting oceans


The Waterborne sector will enhance Europe’s capability in ocean, sea and inland water observations, protection and sustainable exploitation, promoting the development of blue technologies, giving technical support to inland waters, coastal and maritime planning and management, and trying to connect the waterborne sector with the challenges of the coming decades, namely:

  • good environmental status enforcement;
  • seabed and water depollution;
  • ocean acidification reduction and carbo transformation;
  • deep sea understanding and exploration.

By 2030, a fully integrated ocean, seas (including deep sea) and inland waters monitoring system will be implemented. This system will provide a holistic view of the environmental impact of any waterborne operations (including deep sea), enabling, inter alia, the EU to carry out large scale plastic depollution operations in EU waters (e.g. in the Atlantic or the Mediterranean seas) and to deploy a marine sanctuary automated surveillance system, based on biomimetic sensors


A sound management of the oceans, seas and inland waters, combined with the sustainable use of water resources, are the key factors for the long-term protection of the water environment. In cooperation with marine research, the Waterborne sector will develop a deeper understanding of the structure and the functioning of water ecosystems, including both biotic and abiotic processes. This clear understanding will represent the “license to exploit” for all waterborne activities in a changing climate (including carbon transformation and deep sea monitoring).