Via the European Commission
"A healthy sustainable marine environment is crucial to the smooth functioning of the EU economy. Fishing and offshore oil and gas fields for example employ thousands and bring in billions of euro a year, while most raw materials and consumer goods are imported and exported by sea. In fact, the EU has the world's largest merchant fleet; 90 % of foreign trade and 40 % of internal trade is seaborne. Coastal areas are also vital for tourism.
The sustainable management of this marine environment is therefore a critical economic as well as environmental issue, and to be truly effective, international cooperation is required. For this reason, the EU-funded IMARINE project, which was completed in April 2014, has developed data infrastructure specifically designed to encourage cross-border and cross-sectoral collaboration in this field.
Specialists from 17 countries gathered in Rome in March 2014 to mark the imminent completion of the project, and to examine new funding opportunities under the EU's Horizon 2020 programme. Addressing global societal challenges is one of the three pillars of Horizon 2020, which is something that IMARINE has successfully addressed."