More than 70 % of the surface of the planet Earth is water, most of which constitutes the oceans. Surprisingly, very little is known of the life forms in this environment. Among the micro-organisms, less than 1 % can be cultured, making the study
of their life very difficult. With the development of new methods within molecular biology, new possibilities have emerged for studying the life in the oceans. This has created an increasing interest in marine biotechnology, or blue biotechnology, where bio-prospecting
and biodiscovery may open new possibilities for commercial exploitation of the oceans. For past contributions within the area, see Competences.
The ESMB is the European body for
promoting marine biotechnology in Europe and functions as a marine biotech hub for dissemination of marine biotech activities and policies in Europe. The ESMB promotes closer research collaboration between marine biotechnologists and streams information on
activities in the field.