Perspectives and strategies for safer transport in the Mediterranean Sea

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Operational oceanography for sea situational awareness, ship routing, oil spill, SAR (search and rescue), ocean forecasting and maritime safety services: researchers, experts, policy makers and potential end-users addressed all these topics at the conference “Safer transport in the Mediterranean Sea” (in Lecce on 27-28 May, 2014).

The conference was organized in the framework of the IONIO (IONian Integrated Marine Observatory) project, funded by the European Territorial Cooperation Operational Programme “Greece-Italy”, aimed at providing environmental information about the Southern Adriatic and Northern Ionian Area, to support safer maritime traffic and the reduction of pollution hazard.

The objectives of the conference comprised:

  • the analysis of the status of implementation of operational services in support of maritime safety (including sea situational awareness, ship routing, search and rescue and oil spill);
  • the assessment of the users’ satisfaction with respect to existing services; and
  • the identification of needs for future services, through the elaboration of a vision document about safer transport for the Mediterranean Sea.

The event started with an initial welcome and opening presentations by international and local authorities and policy makers. More in detail, Prof. Alan Blumberg (Stevens Institute of Technology) introduced on ocean forecasting and maritime safety services while illustrating the NYC experience after Sandy. 
Then the conference proceeded with oral presentations and talks by practitioners, researchers and other stakeholders, grouped around the 4 main themes of sea situational awareness, ship routing, search and rescue and oil spill.
The CMCC researchers introduced the Ocean-Lab, the research group in the field of operational oceanography based in Lecce, and presented its products and applications: the web portal SeaConditions, the public service providing oceanographic, sea state and weather at sea forecasts via web and mobile devices, and specific products for marine safety (safer routes, search and rescue, better management of emergencies for lifesavers and for responders to pollution events, environmental indicators).
Other participants from public and private research institutions, such as Links, CNR – ISMAR, ENEA, ISPRA, SAIPEM, D’Appolonia and Acsys, the Italian Coast Guard and experts from marine protected areas told their experience and illustrated some case studies as examples of best practices.
The presentations were integrated with working groups’ discussions, where inputs and remarks by all participants were collected, particularly about the future developments of operational services for maritime safety. Therefore, the working groups were particularly useful to underline the existing operational services on sea situational awareness and ship routing while identifying gaps / challenges for the future and designing projects, solutions and approaches to solve these challenges.

For more information visit the IONIO website.

View full videos of the plenary sessions of the conference “Safer transport in the Mediterranean Sea”
Playlist from the CMCC Channel on Youtube

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