The European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet) is a network of organizations supported by the EU’s integrated maritime policy and funded by the European Commission (DG Mare). These organizations work together to monitor the sea, process the data according to international standards, and make this 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.

For more information, see EMODnet Central Portal.

A specified area or sub-area of Europe’s seas, as defined within the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. These are specific instances of sea-basins.
Recognizable geographical area of marine waters, often confined by land to form a distinct body of water.

The challenges are tasks that have been chosen in order to make the bridge with end-user applications and to test how comprehensive and accurate the monitoring and forecasting datasets are at a sea basin scale. They cover the energetic and food security sector (renewable energy, fisheries & aquaculture management), marine environment variability and change (climate change, eutrophication, river inputs, bathymetry, alien species), emergency management (oil spills, fishery impacts, coastal impacts) and preservation of natural resources and biodiversity (connectivity of Protected Marine Areas and red list species), 11 areas altogether:


For more information on challenges see Challenges Section.

This is the collection of existing data used as input to Challenges. Data is collected by an instrument at a particular place and time and which typically is repeated periodically to monitor change over time. It may be raw or processed to make it interoperable with other data.

Many of them are assembled and shared thanks to the European Marine Observation and Data Network (Thematic Assembly Groups), the Copernicus programme, the Data Collection Framework for Fisheries but others are made available in national and international databases.

Checkpoints should be permanent services, because:

  1. monitoring systems will evolve, and every few years re-assessments will be required;
  2. different/further Challenges are required to really show gaps and complementarities in the various monitoring system components (e.g. eutrophication is only one of the issues of the ‘Marine Environment’ Challenges);
  3. the evolution of the monitoring system for the European Sea and the global ocean require constant upgrading of the assessment indicators and descriptors;
  4. the tools to make Challenge products could be disseminated if appropriate at a certain stage of the Checkpoint development;
  5. best practice guides need to be developed to use the data with respect to Challenge targeted products together with training/educational tools;
  6. strong and permanent links need to be established with intermediate and end users from industry to public authorities, and a feasible ‘regional’ approach is required;
  7. the process and methodology used need to be maintained and applied