Maria del Carmen Patricia Morales represents Mundus maris asbl in the Belgian Ocean Decade Committee. The Committee which provides scientific guidance met for its last session of the year on December 1, 2023 in the premises of the InnovOcean Campus linked to the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) in Oostende. VLIZ is a Decade Implementing Partner (DIP) and provides the chair and secretariat of the Belgian Ocean Decade Committee (NDC-BE).

The agenda was dominated by reviews and planning of scientific and innovation activities as a contribution to the Ocean Decade. Several talks addressed issues around the Belgian Indicator Report on Marine Research and Innovation.

Patricia gave a short talk about a cross-section of Mundus maris activities in 2023, which were contributions to the Ocean Decade agenda in one way or another. The focus was on promoting ocean literacy through a combination of accessible science with the arts, whenever possible. The slides are available here.

The Ocean Decade Committee is also interested to support the update of the FishBase Guide app in response to user feedback. It's all about enhancing user experience and promote the use of this educational tool with potential to raise awareness of minimum reproductive sizes of fish species, particularly those for human consumption. Respecting the minimum sizes everywhere would be a major contribution towards recovering many overfished populations. It has potential to increase wild catches once populations are again in good shape.