An Atlantic Ocean research alliance has been launched today (24 May) by the European Union, the United States and Canada, to align ocean observation efforts and promote the sustainable management of its resources.

The agreement, called 'Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation', was signed at the Irish Marine Institute in Galway.

Speaking at the Maritime Institute, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, said that the new alliance “can make a big contribution to meeting challenges such as climate change and food security.”

According to the European Commission, the coalition will also analyse the interaction between the Atlantic Ocean and the Arctic Ocean, particularly with regards to climate change.

 The action comes after the European body launched an Atlantic Action Plan for a maritime strategy in the ocean earlier this month.

“While the initiative is of particular interest for the EU's five Atlantic states ( Ireland, France, Portugal, Spain and the UK), it is open to researchers from all over Europe and beyond,” explained Maria Damanaki, EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

The alliance will seek to coordinate Atlantic and transatlantic actions, and areas of cooperation will include ocean observation, the sharing of data on ocean temperature, salinity and acidity, seabed mapping and the sustainable management of ocean resources,among others.

Since 2002, the EU has invested over €2 billion in more than 1,000 marine research projects, including MyOcean, Euro-Basin and ice2sea.