Ifremer and NOAA agree to research cooperation

French and US marine science organizations joint research will include aquaculture
July 3, 2008

Ifremer and NOAA agree to research cooperation

Mr Jean-Yves Perrot, president and chief executive of Ifremer and the Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, under secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA administrator, sign Memorandum of Understanding for research cooperation

French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (Ifremer) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce (DOC) of the United States of America (NOAA) are two public oceanic research organizations which share common objectives in the field of marine sciences. Since the 1970s, they expressed a willing to establish closer ties and started to collaborate.

In 2006, a significant step was taken in strengthening the institutional links between the Ifremer and the NOAA by holding a joint High-Level Ocean Science Workshop at the Ifremer center in Brest. This workshop gathered American and French researchers in the areas of oceanography, coastal environment, underwater exploration, and fisheries management.

The signing of this MoU enhances a shared strategic vision focusing on concrete projects which will be defined during a workshop in 2009 in the US.

The MoU refers in particular to three main oceanic research areas:
 - Coastal and marine resource management: ecosystem modelling and forecasting, marine protected areas, habitat and biodiversity assessment, fisheries economic and sociocultural analyses and fisheries related technologies, aquaculture development;
- Climate sciences and ocean observation systems: Argo network deployment and sustainability, ocean data management and data sharing consistent with the objectives and principles of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), development of indicators for ecosystem health, pollutants;
- Ocean exploration: deep sea ecosystem characterization, marine exploration technologies, and marine bioprospecting/biotechnology.

Created in 1970, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is a federal agency focused on understanding the oceans and the atmosphere. NOAA’s mission is to “understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment and conserve and manage coastal and marine resources to meet the economic, social and environmental needs of the United States”.

The mission of the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea is to ensure better knowledge, assessment, value enhancement and streamlining in the sustainable exploitation of marine resources; improve knowledge and means to protect and restore the marine environment; enhance the socio-economic development of the maritime world; provide assistance to the government, public authorities and organizations concerned with scientific, technical or economic research on the oceans.