The 1st Ocean Partnership Forum between the EU and Canada took place in Brussels on 3 and 4 October. Co-designed by the European Commission and the Department of Fisheries and Ocean of Canada, it brought together nearly 40 experts in the field of ocean observation and data sharing, coming from research institutes and public administration in Canada and Europe. The event was an excellent opportunity to deepen the longstanding cooperation between EU and Canada on ocean affairs and to foster international ocean governance and cooperation.

The discussions revealed a common interest and urgency to work together to address the challenges brought by climate change, marine litter, underwater noise and much more.

The event successfully established a platform for selected experts to identify opportunities for collaboration that would benefit from a joint Canada-EU effort, both through existing fora and through specific jointly created actions under existing bilateral cooperation (2019 EU-CA Ocean Partnership Agreement).

Collaboration could focus on closing existing knowledge gaps, and ensuring the availability of ocean observation data. Mutual benefits of such collaboration include:

  • improving shared knowledge and understanding of the Atlantic and Arctic; and
  • developing best practices in open marine data collection and sharing .

These elements are essential for achieving the goals of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, for making progress on the follow-up to SDG 14, for effectively developing the digital twins of the ocean, and for making sufficient progress on the marine knowledge aspects of international ocean governance.


Ocean governance is a shared challenge and responsibility, and only international cooperation can ensure the conservation and sustainable use of oceans, their resources and ecosystems.

The Ocean Partnerships on ocean affairs are a pillar of the EU International Ocean Governance agenda, as reiterated in the 2022 Joint Communication on International Ocean Governance.

This is the reason why the European Union and Canada have signed an ocean partnership agreement already back in 2019. This Ocean Partnership agreement includes clear commitments to combatting illegal, unreported and unregulated fisheries, marine pollution and climate change. It will also help to facilitate the sustainable development of marine and maritime sectors and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Ocean Partnership Forum fosters the EU commitment to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 regarding ocean science, observation, environmental monitoring and prediction.

Source: European Commission I Oceans and fisheries (