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Meet the European Atlas of the Seas’ ambassadors advocating for advanced ocean literacy!

News article |

Following the release of the European Atlas of the Seas in the 24 official EU languages in September 2020, we asked well-known public figures in their field, with proven contribution to ocean-related issues, to explain in their own language what the ocean means to them and why you should #ExploreYourOcean!

The campaign was launched on the 16th of September 2020 by the European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, with a quote in Lithuanian. Now halfway through the campaign, we invite you to (re)discover the first twelve European Atlas of the Seas’ ambassadors and what they wanted to share with us.

Curious to find out who the future ambassadors will be? Stay tuned on the European Atlas of the Seas’ Twitter account with the hashtag #ExploreYourOcean!

Find all the ambassador's quotes here :

1- Lithuanian - Mr Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries


2- French - Mr Philippe Vallette, Directeur Général Nausicaá Centre National de la Mer


3- Gaelic - Dr. Easkey Britton, Surfer and Marine Social Scientist


4- Greek - Mrs Stella Vareltzidou, Conservation Biologist, Former Scientific Coordinator of the Axios-Loudias-Aliakmonas Protected Area


5- Portuguese - Mr Ricardo Serrão Santos, Minister of the Sea of Portugal


6- Dutch - Prof. Dr. Jan Mees, General Director VLIZ Flanders Marine Institute


7- Romanian - Mrs Mihaela Mirea CândeaExecutive Director Mare Nostrum NGO


8- Czech - Dr. Michal Koblížek, Scientist at the Institute of Microbiology of the Czech Academy of Sciences


9 - Maltese - Dr. Josianne Gatt Støttrup, Senior Researcher at DTU Aqua, Section for Ecosystem based Marine Management


10 - German - Mrs Neele van den Bongardt, Project Manager of the Hamburg Climate Week and EU Climate Pact Ambassador


11 - Bulgarian - Mrs Charlina Vitcheva, Director-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE), EU Commission


12 - English - Dr. Niall McDonough, Director of Policy, Innovation and Research at the Marine Institute of Ireland and Chair of the European Joint Programming Initiative on Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans (JPI Oceans)


About the European Atlas of the Seas

The European Atlas of the Seas is an interactive web-map viewer available for the general public, non-expert professionals and schools. First launched in 2010 by the European Commission, Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE), it provides at-a-glance data in a comprehensive and fully visual way, while at the same time serving as a support tool for marine policy and the blue economy.

The Atlas hosts a wealth of information about Europe’s marine environment and related human activities, covering topics such as nature, tourism, security, energy, passenger transport, seafloor, sea level rise, fish consumption, and much more. The available data come primarily from the European Commission and its agencies (Eurostat, the European Environment Agency, the Joint Research Centre, Copernicus, etc.) and from EMODnet.

Since September 2017, the EMODnet Secretariat has taken over the management of the Atlas with a mission to further expand the available content and improve its interface and functionality. The Atlas is available in the 24 official European Union languages since the Autumn 2020.