Perspectives in European cooperation in biological oceanography
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European cooperation in biological oceanography is indispensable for geographical, political and financial reasons.
Large-scale regional projects, ocean observation and forescasting systems, the study of the deep-sea bed and the development of modern technology for automated observations require multinational cooperation. Other projects might be carried out on a bi- or trilateral basis.
European cooperation holds great promise because of the high concentration and great variety of research institutions with a large potential of skilled personnel, instruments and many (too many?) research vessels of all sizes. The opening up of the former Eastern bloc provides new opportunities and obligations for European cooperation.
New approaches have been found through the provision of national vessels and installations for international projects. The further integration of European marine science will presumably lead to the establishment of technology centres, and possibly to European research vessels.
The new perspectives of European cooperation are encouraging, provided there will be enough solidarity within Europe during periods of great economic disparity, and provided European marine scientists are aware of the interests of their colleagues in all other parts of the world rich and poor.