Oceans and human health | JPI OCEANS

Oceans and human health


Oceans and human health

During the Maritime Days JPI Oceans jointly organised a workshop addressing the relationship between marine environmental health and human health.

The workshop on « The EU Integrated maritime policy and human health and well-being: What’s the connection ? » organised jointly by JPI Oceans and the European Marine Board was successfully held in Valetta, Malta on 22 may 2013. It was held in the framework of European Maritime Days 2013 and focused on the relationship between marine environmental health and human health. The event, moderated by Caroline Bocquel, Irish Management Board member of JPI Oceans attracted about 50 participants from the European and the Mediterranean Maritime community.

Michael Moore, from the European Centre for Environment & human health, first presented the soon-to-be published Marine Board position paper on “Linking the oceans and human health: A Strategic Research Priority for Europe.” He demonstrated how the Marine Board Expert group identified societal, environmental and biomedical challenges linking human health (benefits & risks) with the marine environment and the need for an interdisciplinary systems approach in this area. One example of these challenges is the costs related to human microbial and viral pathogens due to water-borne agents and contaminated seafood. This was used as an example on how investing in science can increase our risk assessment capabilities which is important to reduce the costs related to human health.

In the second talk, Mathew White from University of Exeter Medical school, presented some interesting facts on the benefits from living or spending time in proximity to the sea and connections between exposure to coast and physical and mental health which raised the curiosity of the participants. His research aims at answering the two main questions: Will improving coastal access improve population health? And, Can we bring the coast inland/indoors? The research conducted so far clearly points to the direction of the health benefits to society.

Finally, Gioconda Mielle, from the Ministry of infrastructures and transport of Italy highlighted the need for a cross-sectoral approach to address the issue of sustainable tourism. She gave the example of the Italian Maritime Technology platform which involved economic, scientific and institutional actors of the national system of the sea. Mielle stressed the importance of looking for quality and not only quantity when attracting tourism as well as raising awareness of the territorial dimension of culture and sustainable tourism.

Further information:

European Maritime Day 2013

European Commission information about European Maritime Day

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