Today, the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet), supported by the European Commission, launched its fully unified marine data service, integrating all the data into one single portal. Rapid access to reliable and accurate data and information is vital in addressing threats to the marine environment, in the development of policies and legislation to protect vulnerable areas of our coasts and oceans, in understanding trends and in forecasting future changes. For over a decade, more than 120 organisations involved in EMODnet have been working together to aggregate observations and marine data from various sources, process them according to international standards and make them freely available. It will allow researchers, marine managers, policy-makers and many more to retrieve hundreds of data and data products from one place, with a searchable unified catalogue. This new portal will benefit all marine data users, including policy makers, researchers, scientists, private industry and anyone interested.
A major upgrade in ocean science
For decades, marine data collection has been very fragmented, to the detriment of efficiency, accessibility and shared ocean knowledge. Until the birth of the European Marine Observation and Data Network, EMODnet in short.
As of today, all the available marine data and EMODnet thematic services are centralised into one single portal. This thematic unification not only simplifies the access to the available data sets but also enhances the user experience. Central to the upgrade and major improvement is the release of the common map viewer. It offers the users easier access to discover, visualise and download marine data across seven thematics (bathymetry, biology, chemistry, geology, human activities, physics, seabed habitats) from one place, powered by a searchable unified catalogue.
The new portal offers services more suited to today’s needs. It better supports next generation ocean data and information management, as well as new technologies and approaches (for example the use of data to power Artificial Intelligence applications).
One single portal, a team work for greater impact
The centralisation of all EMODnet thematic data services under a single umbrella has been a long-term effort, facilitated by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. It is a landmark achievement of the European ocean observing and marine data community and the result of more than a year of technical developments by EMODnet thematic experts and the EMODnet Central Portal team coordinated by the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) and the EMODnet Secretariat.
“Collect once and use many times”: such an integrated marine data service creates great savings in cost and effort, improves the accuracy of marine research as well as opens up new opportunities for innovation and growth.
The single-point of access to EMODnet will be a very useful operational platform to achieve the objectives of the EU Mission ‘Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030’ and the wider goals of the European Green Deal. It contributes to international efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN Agenda 2030, and the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.
EMODnet is the most comprehensive in situ marine data service in Europe, offering a wealth of in water Ocean observations, data and data products, spanning from the coast to the open Ocean and the surface to the deep sea. It is a long-term European Union marine data service funded through the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) under the auspices of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
All the data service offered though EMODnet are available at emodnet.ec.europa.eu.
A public webinar demonstrating the upgraded EMODnet services will take place online on 16 February 2023, with registration open and free for all.
The EMODnet data services will also be a focal point of the Open Sea Lab III Hackathon, taking place in March 2023.
- Publication date
- 25 January 2023
- Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries