National Ocean Science Conference

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The very first edition of the National Ocean Sciences Conference in the Netherlands took place at the Naturalis Biodiversity Center on Thursday 6 June 2024. From the shore to the open ocean, from the equator to the poles, from the natural sciences to humanities. Be there to help shape the community and hear what your fellow researchers are doing, expand your network and get inspired!

Get an impression of the National Ocean Sciences Conference 2024

Sharing knowledge at national level

Scientists and scholars in the Netherlands study marine processes from a multitude of scientific disciplines to better understand how they can provide sustainable solutions to address the big societal questions that are posed by the climate and biodiversity crises. As stated by the UN Decade of the Ocean Sciences, it is essential to share this knowledge also at a national level to move forward together in this quest. And what better timing to do so than just before the United Nations designated World Ocean Day?


9:30 Registration

10:15 Welcome – Yvonne Smit

Stefanie Ypma – Sustainable Ocean Community
Maaike van de Kamp - Romijn, Deputy General Director- Naturalis Biodiversity Center

10:25 The voice of the Ocean -Milan Meyberg

What if the ocean were its own entity, voiced and personified by artificial intelligence, capable of saying 'No, I don't want this'? According to Milan Meyberg, we are on the brink of making this a reality. What implications would this have for our role as ocean experts?

11:10 Whose Ocean Icebreaker – Susanne Ferwerda

The ocean is crucial to life and climate, but its voice is barely heard in (international) law and policy decisions. While the UN explicitly speaks about “our ocean”, it is completely unclear who the “our” refers to. Does the ocean belong to humanity? To states? Or does the ocean belong to itself? To the organisms (non-human animals, plants, and microbes) that live in it and/or to the materialities that make the ocean (water, rocks, elements)?

11:45 Keynote - Redistributing value(s) and wealth in ocean-industries in the Age of Unsustainability – Liam Campling

Shipping and industrial fisheries are leading 'blue economy' industries. Each contributes in different ways to global heating and biodiversity loss, and each reproduce socially inequitable outcomes in terms of the distribution of gains, costs and risks. Can we think about a more sustainable ocean future based upon new energy sources and a just maritime transition for people working at sea, and where coastal states are incentivised to act as custodians of marine life?

12:30 Poster Pitches – Mei Nelissen

13:00 Lunch

14:00 Policy update by the Ministry of I&W

14:15 Forum Discussion – Biodiversity Protection & Restoration

Introduction by Hans Nieuwenhuis
1. Mark Vermeij
2. Susanne Ferwerda
3. Seline Trevisanut
4. Sabine Gollner
5. Annet Pauwelussen

15:15 Poster Session

Find an overview of all poster presentations from the National Ocean Science Conference 2024 here

16:15 Our role as ocean scientists – Katja Peijnenburg

Biodiversity is under enormous pressure from the rapidly changing ocean. What else can a researcher do besides bringing out as much knowledge as possible?
Following this, Katja Peijnenburg and Maarten Heijnen will give an update on The National Ocean Decade Committee which will be installed on the 5th June.

16:45 The Wild North Sea – Klaudie Bartelink

In 'The Wild North Sea' documentary, Klaudie Bartelink explores the mesmerizing underwater world of the North Sea. Over 20 years of diving, she's captured its beauty and biodiversity and this year, together with Peter van Rodijnen, they will be showcasing it to the world.

17:15 Drinks


This conference is organised by the Sustainable Ocean Community and the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), Utrecht University, Naturalis Biodiversity Center and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or remarks to: or

How can we offer sustainable solutions to tackle the significant societal challenges presented by the climate and biodiversity crises?