Presentation of OSPAR’s Ocean Acidification Assessment European Maritime Day 2023

16 June 2023

European Maritime Day 2023 took place in Brest, France, on 24 and 25 May 2023. OSPAR, as an affiliate member of the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification (OA Alliance), co-convened the side event “Exploring Marine Management and Policy Response to Ocean Acidification” to advance the integration of climate change information across key European marine management frameworks, together with the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification (OA Alliance), and the NE Atlantic Hub of the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON).

The meeting brought together policy and decision-makers across Europe to discuss:

  1. Ocean acidification trends, biological impacts and threats to keystone fisheries and aquaculture within the Arctic, North Atlantic and Mediterranean;
  2. OSPAR’s assessment on ocean acidification published as part of OSPAR’s Quality Status Report 2023, as well as national response strategies;
  3. EU and national ocean and marine policy frameworks.

Jos Schilder, co-convenor of the OSPAR Intersessional Correspondence Group on Ocean Acidification (ICG-OA), presented the work that OSPAR is undertaking to tackle ocean acidification. He introduced the OSPAR Ocean Acidification Assessment that was recently published as part of OSPAR’s Quality Status Report 2023, and the approach and methods used to prepare it. As the key findings of this assessment show clearly that ocean acidification is continuing in the OSPAR Region and is putting marine life under pressure, recommendations for next steps in research and policy were highlighted.

The other event co-organisers gave presentations on ‘The importance of understanding OA trends and impacts in NE Atlantic and Mediterranean’ and ‘Leveraging Domestic Management Schemes and Frameworks’. In a final group discussion, participants discussed, among others, the importance of leveraging European (national or EU) policy frameworks to take up regional seas conventions’ recommendations, such as those by OSPAR, and further prioritise reporting on OA.

The meeting concluded that, as the observed impacts at the ocean-climate nexus continue to grow, there is a need for increased knowledge exchange and expertise on the substance and process for developing local, regional, and national marine management and policy responses in the face of cumulative change.

Further information on OSPAR’s work on ocean acidification and the OSPAR Ocean Acidification Assessment can be found on the OSPAR webpage.

More information on the Ocean Acidification Alliance and the meeting at the European Maritime Day is provided on the webpage of the International Alliance to combat Ocean Acidification.

Jos Schilder presenting OSPAR’s Ocean Acidification Assessment at the 2023 European Maritime Day. Credit: OA Alliance.