Data from the marine environment are a valuable asset. Rapid access to reliable and accurate 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. Likewise, better quality and more easily accessible marine data is a prerequisite for further sustainable economic development, so-called ‘blue growth’.
Unfortunately, marine data collection, storage and access in Europe has been carried out in a fragmented way for many years. Most data collection has focused on meeting the needs of a single purpose by a wide range of private and public organisations, often in isolation from each other.
The European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet) is a network of organisations supported by the EU’s integrated maritime policy. These organisations work together to observe the sea, process the data according to international standards and make that information freely available as interoperable data layers and data products.
This "collect once and use many times" philosophy benefits all marine data users, including policy makers, scientists, private industry and the public. It has been estimated that such an integrated marine data policy will save at least one billion Euros per year, as well as opening up new opportunities for innovation and growth.
More information can be found on the central EMODNet website: