Seascape Consultants Ltd.

Romsey, United Kingdom

Seascape Consultants Ltd.

Romsey, United Kingdom

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Lodge M.,International Seabed Authority | Johnson D.,Seascape Consultants Ltd. | Le Gurun G.,International Seabed Authority | Wengler M.,International Seabed Authority | And 2 more authors.
Marine Policy | Year: 2014

In 2012 the International Seabed Authority approved an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) for the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone CCZ in the Eastern Central Pacific. The EMP is a proactive spatial management strategy that anticipates mining of polymetallic nodules and that includes the designation of Areas of Particular Environmental Interest (APEIs). The implementation of the EMP and the sound application of marine spatial planning require sufficient high-quality data to inform decision-makers and draw credible boundaries of protected areas. This paper outlines the development of the EMP in the context of the Authority[U+05F3]s responsibilities with respect to the protection of the marine environment. The paper further highlights needs for research and data collection and introduces a related EU research project aiming to inform the development of mining guidelines. The authors suggest that the sustainable development of deep sea resources in the CCZ could be considered as a model for blue growth. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2013.6.2-8 | Award Amount: 12.42M | Year: 2013

The MIDAS project addresses fundamental environmental issues relating to the exploitation of deep-sea mineral and energy resources; specifically polymetallic sulphides, manganese nodules, cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts, methane hydrates and the potential mining of rare earth elements. These new industries will have significant impacts on deep-sea ecosystems, in some cases extending over hundreds of thousands of square kilometres. Scientific knowledge is needed urgently to develop guidelines for industry ensuring wealth creation and Best Environmental Practice. MIDAS will assess the nature and scales of the potential impacts including 1) physical destruction of the seabed by mining, the creation of mine tailings and the potential for catastrophic slope failures from methane hydrate exploitation, 2) the potential effects of particle-laden plumes in the water column, and 3) the possible toxic chemicals that might be released by the mining process. Knowledge of the impacts will be used to address the key biological unknowns, such as connectivity between populations, impacts of the loss of biological diversity on ecosystem functioning, and how quickly the ecosystems will recover. The information derived will be used to guide recommendations for best practice, iterating with MIDAS industry partners and the wider stakeholder community to ensure that solutions are practical and cost-effective. We will engage with European and international regulatory organisations to take these recommendations forward into legislation in a timely fashion. A major element of MIDAS will be to develop methods and technologies for 1) preparing baseline assessments of biodiversity, and 2) monitoring activities remotely in the deep sea during and after exploitation (including ecosystem recovery). The MIDAS partnership represents a unique combination of scientists, industry, social scientists, legal experts, NGOs and SMEs.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: BG-01-2015 | Award Amount: 9.21M | Year: 2016

ATLAS creates a dynamic new partnership between multinational industries, SMEs, governments and academia to assess the Atlantics deep-sea ecosystems and Marine Genetic Resources to create the integrated and adaptive planning products needed for sustainable Blue Growth. ATLAS will gather diverse new information on sensitive Atlantic ecosystems (incl. VMEs and EBSAs) to produce a step-change in our understanding of their connectivity, functioning and responses to future changes in human use and ocean climate. This is possible because ATLAS takes innovative approaches to its work and interweaves its objectives by placing business, policy and socioeconomic development at the forefront with science. ATLAS not only uses trans-Atlantic oceanographic arrays to understand and predict future change in living marine resources, but enhances their capacity with new sensors to make measurements directly relevant to ecosystem function. The ATLAS team has the track record needed to meet the projects ambitions and has already developed a programme of 25 deep-sea cruises, with more pending final decision. These cruises will study a network of 12 Case Studies spanning the Atlantic including sponge, cold-water coral, seamount and mid-ocean ridge ecosystems. The team has an unprecedented track record in policy development at national, European and international levels. An annual ATLAS Science-Policy Panel in Brussels will take the latest results and Blue Growth opportunities identified from the project directly to policy makers. Finally, ATLAS has a strong trans-Atlantic partnership in Canada and the USA where both government and academic partners will interact closely with ATLAS through shared cruises, staff secondments, scientific collaboration and work to inform Atlantic policy development. ATLAS has been created and designed with our N American partners to foster trans-Atlantic collaboration and the wider objectives of the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC5-11c-2015 | Award Amount: 7.99M | Year: 2016

A key EU policy aims to reduce the Union dependency on raw materials imports, in particular (candidate) Critical Raw Materials that are vital for the EU innovative technologies. Topic SC5-11c-2015 scope focuses on developing new highly-automated technological sustainable solutions for deep mining in the sea bed combined with in-situ processing of minerals. An existing but challenging raw material resource concerns polymetallic nodules. These round to elongated concretions of 115 cm diameter form on sediment-covered deep-sea plains in all oceans between 4-6000m water depth. The challenge to harvest and transport the nodules to the EU shore is taken on by Blue Nodules. The governing project principle is: industrial viability within the context of a realistic and technical, economic and environmentally balanced business case for the complete Polymetallic Nodules value chain of mining, processing and valorisation. Blue Nodules will develop and test to TRL6 maturity a new highly-automated and technologically sustainable deep sea mining system. Key features are: an annual production capability of 2 Million Tons nodules in water depths up to 6000m, in-situ processing of the nodules and intrinsic safe working conditions. Technical WPs are dedicated to subsea harvesting equipment & control technology, in-situ seafloor processing of polymetallic nodules and sea surface, land operations & processes. A dedicated WP focuses on environmental issues and on an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). A WP setting requirements and assessing the developed technology controls the entire work plan structure. High credibility is obtained by linking the project work to a nodule field licence owned by a project partner and located in the most promising known nodule deposit: the Clarion Clipperton Zone. The project consortium contains 14 leading industry and research partners from 9 EU member states. The project duration is 48 months, the required funding amounts to 8 Million.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: BG-08-2014 | Award Amount: 20.65M | Year: 2015

The overarching objective of AtlantOS is to achieve a transition from a loosely-coordinated set of existing ocean observing activities to a sustainable, efficient, and fit-for-purpose Integrated Atlantic Ocean Observing System (IAOOS), by defining requirements and systems design, improving the readiness of observing networks and data systems, and engaging stakeholders around the Atlantic; and leaving a legacy and strengthened contribution to the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). AtlantOS will fill existing in-situ observing system gaps and will ensure that data are readily accessible and useable. AtlantOS will demonstrate the utility of integrating in-situ and Earth observing satellite based observations towards informing a wide range of sectors using the Copernicus Marine Monitoring Services and the European Marine Observation and Data Network and connect them with similar activities around the Atlantic. AtlantOS will support activities to share, integrate and standardize in-situ observations, reduce the cost by network optimization and deployment of new technologies, and increase the competitiveness of European industries, and particularly of the small and medium enterprises of the marine sector. AtlantOS will promote innovation, documentation and exploitation of innovative observing systems. All AtlantOS work packages will strengthen the trans-Atlantic collaboration, through close interaction with partner institutions from Canada, United States, and the South Atlantic region. AtlantOS will develop a results-oriented dialogue with key stakeholders communities to enable a meaningful exchange between the products and services that IAOOS can deliver and the demands and needs of the stakeholder communities. Finally, AtlantOS will establish a structured dialogue with funding bodies, including the European Commission, USA, Canada and other countries to ensure sustainability and adequate growth of IAOOS.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: BG-04-2014 | Award Amount: 7.40M | Year: 2015

INMARE stands for Industrial Applications of Marine Enzymes: Innovative screening and expression platforms to discover and use the functional protein diversity from the sea. It is a collaborative Innovation Action to streamline the pathways of discovery and industrial applications of new marine enzymes and bioactives for targeted production of fine chemicals, drugs and in environmental clean-up applications. The INMARE consortium will unify the multidisciplinary expertise and facilities of academic and industry partners. This will include integrating the following core activities: advanced technologies to access and sample unique marine biodiversity hot-spots; state-of-the art technologies for construction of metagenomic libraries; innovative enzyme screening assays and platforms; cutting-edge sequence annotation pipelines and bioinformatics resources; high-end activity screening technology; bioanalytical and bioprocess engineering facilities and expertise, nanoparticle-biocatalysts; high-quality protein crystallization and structural analysis facilities and experts in IP management for biotechnology. The companies involved in the project are market leaders in enzyme production and biocatalysis processes designed to efficiently deliver safer (pharmaceuticals) cheaper (agriculture) and biobased (biopolymers) products. They also have impressive track record in environmental clean-up technologies and are committed to promoting public understanding, awareness and dissemination of scientific research. The main emphasis will be focused on streamlining and shortening the pipelines for enzyme and bioactive compound discovery towards industrial applications through the establishing of marine enzyme collections with a high proportion of enzymes-allrounders. The project will also prioritize the identification of novel lead products and the delivery of improved prototypes for new biocatalytic processes.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: BG-11-2014 | Award Amount: 4.00M | Year: 2015

We are standing at the dawn of a century that will be largely affected by how we as a society are able to manage our oceans and their resources. Marine and Maritime Research has a critical role to play in developing our understanding of the seas and advance technology so that we can develop their economic potential in a sustainable manner. The COLUMBUS project intends to capitalise on the ECs significant research by ensuring accessibility and uptake of research Knowledge Outputs by end-users (policy, industry, science and wider society). COLUMBUS will ensure measurable value creation from research investments contributing to sustainable Blue Growth within the timeframe of the project. Adopting proven methodologies and building on significant past work, COLUMBUS will first identify end-user needs and priorities. It will then set about identifying and collecting Knowledge Outputs from past and current EC projects. Rigorous analysis will take place to identify specific applications and end-users. Transfer will be achieved and measured through tailor-made knowledge transfer. All knowledge collected will be made accessible the pre-existing Marine Knowledge Gate. To achieve the above, COLUMBUS has brought together a multi-disciplinary, multi-stakeholder team representing all aspects of the research value chain from funding agencies to end-users. Key strategic initiatives and networks further strengthen and provide a strong vehicle for project legacy. A network of 9 Competence Nodes, each with a Knowledge Fellow and support team across Europe will provide the necessary critical mass (470pm of effort) to ensure full thematic and spatial coverage. COLUMBUS will also carry out strategic actions to enhance the visibility and impact of research to stakeholders and European Citizens. Furthermore working with funding agencies and stakeholders, COLUMBUS will examine the feasibility of improved systems and processes to ensure measurable value creation from research.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: LCE-15-2015 | Award Amount: 15.97M | Year: 2016

STEMM-CCS is an ambitious research and innovation project on geological carbon dioxide (CO2) storage that will deliver new insights, guidelines for best practice, and tools for all phases of the CO2 storage cycle at ocean Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) sites. It brings together the main operator (Shell) of the worlds first commercial scale full-chain ocean demonstration CCS project (Peterhead Project) with the leading scientific and academic researchers in the field of ocean CCS. The work performed in STEMM-CCS will add value to this existing operational programme, and fill gaps in future capability by providing generically applicable definitive guides, technologies and techniques informing how to select a site for CCS operations, how to undertake a risk assessment, how best to monitor the operations, how to provide information on fluxes and quantification of any leakage; necessary for the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and to guide mitigation/remediation actions. All of this information will be used to better communicate the case for offshore CCS, with a particular focus on communities directly and indirectly impacted. During STEMM-CCS we will perform a simulated CO2 leak beneath the surface sediments at the site to be used for CCS as part of the Peterhead project. This experiment will be used to test CO2 leak detection, leak quantification, impact assessment, and mitigation/remediation decision support techniques currently at the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) stage 4-5 and support their development to a higher TRL. In addition, using new geophysical approaches STEMM-CCS will develop tools to assess leakage from natural geological features (e.g. chimneys) and engineered structures such as abandoned wells. The Peterhead project will commence during the life of STEMM-CCS and so a unique aspect is the focus on a real-world ocean CCS site covering its initial phases of implementation, with direct involvement of industrial partners.


Freestone D.,Sargasso Sea Alliance | Johnson D.,Seascape Consultants Ltd. | Ardron J.,Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies e.V. | Morrison K.K.,Sargasso Sea Alliance | Unger S.,Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies e.V.
Marine Policy | Year: 2014

United Nations discussions on the governance of marine areas beyond national jurisdiction have questioned, but not yet reached a decision, on whether existing institutional agreements and structures are sufficient to meet global commitments to protect marine biodiversity, or if additional mechanisms may be required. This paper considers two very different efforts to protect marine biodiversity in these areas: (1) in the North-East Atlantic through the efforts of OSPAR Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic; and (2) in the central Atlantic, through the efforts of the Sargasso Sea Alliance led by the Bermuda government. In each case, action has been strongly supported by non-governmental organisations and subsequent progress has hinged upon on-going dedicated efforts of "champion" governments to bring other States on board. This paper outlines the difficulties that they have faced, and consequently why they have been time-consuming, and are not yet completed. The paper then considers 10 common recommendations that can be drawn from the experiences of these two distinct initiatives, and their relevance to on-going UN deliberations. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

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