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Monday, October 31, 2011

Smart Ocean / Smart Industries Program Program for Data Collection from Vessels and Platforms

News Release

WORLD OCEAN COUNCIL LAUNCHES “SMART OCEAN / SMART INDUSTRIES” PROGRAM ON OCEAN AND CLIMATE OBSERVATIONS

Maersk, Transocean, Other Leadership Companies Joining Forces to Create International Program for Data Collection from Vessels and Platforms
31 October 2011 –
Leading ocean companies are working to expand and better coordinate the collecting of ocean and atmospheric information from ships and offshore structures through the “Smart Ocean / Smart Industries” program developed by the World Ocean Council (WOC). The UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) is hosting the initial WOC workshop on 12-13 Dec 2011 in Paris.
The need to better understand and monitor the ocean and climate has never been greater. Government and scientific institutions have limited facilities and resources to obtain marine and atmospheric data. Shipping, offshore oil and gas and other ocean industries, e.g. ferries, fisheries, offshore wind, aquaculture and others, operate thousands of vessels and platforms. These provide tremendous potential for cost-effectively collecting ocean and climate data. Expanded information will help improve the modeling and predictability of weather, ocean conditions and climate change, and will support responsible use of ocean space and resources – with clear benefits for science, government, society, and business.
A WOC Working Group co-chaired by A.P. Moeller-Maersk and Transocean is beginning work to develop a comprehensive structure and process to scale up data collection from “smart” ships and platforms and expand the spatial and temporal extent of observations by leadership companies.
At Maersk Line, Eskild Lund Sorensen, Environmental Manager stated that, "With more than 500 commercial vessels sailing on the major trade lanes of the world, Maersk Line pledges to protect the marine environment upon which its business depends. As a member of the WOC, we will contribute to promoting ocean sustainability by making our assets available to the ocean research community through strategic, structured and long-term research partnerships and collaboration."
Heather Null, Transocean’s Environmental and Corporate Responsibility Manager, said, “Transocean has approximately 100 active rigs worldwide and we have a long history of partnering with the science community and oil and gas industry colleagues to collect environmental data from offshore rigs. The WOC initiative creates a new opportunity to build on this history to jointly observe and understand the marine environment.”
The WOC program will catalyze the role of leadership companies from a range of ocean industries in the systematic, regular, sustained and integrated collection and reporting of standardized oceanographic and atmospheric data. This will provide critical information to scientific programs that improve the safety and sustainability of commercial activities at sea and contribute to maintaining and improving ocean health. The program is being developed in close collaboration with national and international ocean and climate observations programs, and with existing voluntary observation programs.
Peter Hinchliffe, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping (a Founding Member of the WOC), voiced strong support, “The ICS encourages shipping companies, other ocean industries, and voluntary observation programs to get involved in this important initiative. More and better data will result in improved ocean and climate models. These will advance the predictability of ocean and weather conditions, with tremendous benefits for the safety and efficiency of all marine operations.”
The IOC will host the initial WOC “Smart Ocean / Smart Industries” workshop. The meeting will convene industry, science and government representatives to develop: a) a shared understanding of the program need and opportunity, b) the initial design of the process and institutional framework and c) the roadmap and workplan for moving forward.
IOC Executive Secretary, Wendy Watson-Wright, stated, “The IOC is extremely pleased to host the initial WOC workshop on this far-reaching initiative. The WOC, with its growing network of ocean leadership companies, is uniquely positioned to catalyze a coordinated program of ocean and climate observations by industry and ensure it is integrated with international and national science and observation programs.”
The workshop will bring together representatives from: a) shipping, oil and gas, ferry, offshore wind, mining, fisheries, navies, etc; b) existing voluntary observation programs; c) marine technology, instrumentation, IT/communications; and d) international and national oceanographic/metrological organizations. Space is limited. Interested parties should contact: paul.holthus@oceancouncil.org
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About the World Ocean Council (WOC)

The WOC is the only international, cross-sectoral alliance for private sector leadership and collaboration in “Corporate Ocean Responsibility”. Companies and associations worldwide are distinguishing themselves as leaders in ocean sustainability and stewardship by joining the WOC. Members to date include over 36 leadership organizations from a wide range of ocean industries: oil and gas, shipping, seafood, tourism, ocean technology, maritime law, marine environmental services and other areas.

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