The European Marine Board has issued a press release on a new Policy Brief which addresses the question "Why Marine Citizens Science?", and presents the wide scope of applications in marine science research. It also looks at the range of opportunities for engaging citizens – and ways to develop scientifically sound methods for using the data. It also features future opportunities with regard to the use of technology, as well as highlighting the potential for Marine Citizen Science to be a tool for marine policy.
The coastal and ocean environments are vast, and there are still many creatures to discover and many questions to answer. Approximately 95% of the sea floor is still to be surveyed in detail, and there could be between 500,000 and 2 million marine species still to discover. It would take many lifetimes for scientists to explore them alone. This is where Marine Citizen Scientists come in. The data collected and analysed by willing and interested volunteers is invaluable to the development of scientific knowledge, and in return, can provide many benefits to the volunteers. And with knowledge comes power. The new knowledge generated will be essential for a more sustainable use of these precious environments in the future.
The Policy Brief finishes by presenting recommendations going forward, as both short- and long-term action areas, to ensure that Marine Citizen Science can continue to progress in Europe. The publication can be downloaded from the European Marine Board website.