This World Ocean Day, we are proud to be home to several initiatives, events and communities that support our mission. As we come together to celebrate and honour our shared ocean and rally the world to protect it, we want to highlight the IMarEST’s five new Special Interest Groups (SIGs) dedicated to improving ocean health.
As many as three quarters of the world’s largest cities are on the coast. The development of these coastal areas impacts local marine environments and are themselves impacted by oceanic processes. This new SIG addresses engineering, science and technology concerns relating to the resilience of natural and built environments. It serves as a forum for disseminating information on the challenges and latest solutions for the sustainable management of coastal zones.
The Marine Fuels and Emissions SIG encompasses issues surrounding emissions from shipping, and alternative fuels for shipping. This SIG aims to understand shipping’s role in greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, and the measures being discussed to address them. In bringing together a network of professionals to share experiences and across the industry, targeted support can be given to those working in the sector.
All forms of wildlife are affected by human activity, from shipping and energy extraction to fishing and tourism. Marine megafauna and migratory mammals, however, are especially vulnerable. For change to happen, zoologists, conservationists, surveyors, technologists, and industry and naval representatives need a forum to talk, learn and help each other. The Marine Mammals SIG aims to bridge the divide between marine mammal conservation and engineering communities.
Plastic pollution is widely considered to be the most widespread problem affecting the marine environment and makes up approximately 80% of all marine debris. The Ocean Plastics and Marine Litter SIG looks to review common practices across marine sectors and create targeted, educational tools to improve understanding of the drivers for plastic generation and environmental impact of litter to identify new solutions and best practices.
Offshore oil and gas platforms, wind farms, pipelines and other offshore infrastructure are ageing, and we now face the prospect of decommissioning thousands of installations in the coming decades and managing unique potential pollution events in offshore environments. The Recycling Marine Structures SIG works to identify the challenges that lie ahead — working with regulatory bodies and industry partners that provide guidance on managing projects in a safe, and environmentally responsible manner.
Learn more about our Special Interest Groups or delve deeper into the topic of climate change and the oceans through our conference, Oceans of Knowledge 2021, which is organised by our Operational Oceanography SIG. This SIG is contributing a huge amount of work towards the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.