The information on this page is also available on the new EOOS website

The EOOS Event European Parliament, 8 September 2016, Brussels

Icon of EOOS EP Event Main Outputs EOOS EP Event Main Outputs (563.3 KiB)
Icon of EOOS Consultation 2016 EOOS Consultation 2016 (740.6 KiB)

What is EOOS?

A coordinating framework designed to align and integrate Europe’s ocean observing capacity; promote a systematic and collaborative approach to collecting information on the state and variability of our seas; and underpin sustainable management of the marine environment and its resources.

Why does Europe need EOOS?

Providing 97% of the Earth’s water  and 95% of its biosphere, the ocean is a crucial source of water, food, energy and raw materials, and acts as a medium for tourism, transport and commerce . Valued at US$24 trillion (WWF report 2015), the global ocean has been termed the world’s seventh largest economy. Sustained ocean observing is crucial to understand the oceanic environment, provide data products and services, help mitigate climate change, and drive the Blue Economy in a responsible and sustainably way.

The international ocean observing community has recognized a need for integration and coordination of interdisciplinary ocean observations (A Framework for Ocean Observing 2012). Furthermore, studies demonstrate that the economic benefit of the integration of the ocean observing efforts, with the necessary data analysis and product distribution, implemented at the global, ocean basin, and regional scales, generate positive dividends much greater than its costs (EuroGOOS report 2001). In addition, ocean observing activities represent a significant industry cluster (IOOS report 2016).

Internationally, ocean observation has been coordinated through the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), a contribution to sustained Earth observations and information (GEO). A lot has been done at pan-European and regional scales (e.g. EuroGOOS and ROOSes, EMODnet, SeaDataNet and Copernicus Marine Service). There are numerous other programmes and projects working to develop and implement effective ocean observing capacities, albeit adding to the complexity of the current systems. Therefore, this capability, especially in the seaborne (in situ) observations, is highly fragmented. Those dispersed components vary in the degree of coordination or interaction between them and generally suffer from a lack of sustained funding.

There are a number of drivers for a stronger European ocean observing, necessary to underpin our knowledge, the delivery of ocean services and future projections. The 2016 ESFRI roadmap report stresses Europe urgently needs to develop an integrated and sustained EOOS. The EOOS framework will link the currently disparate components by an overarching strategy, maximizing the benefits of optimization, infrastructure use, standardization, open data exchange and capacity building.

What will EOOS do?

EOOS will not take ownership or control of ocean observing in Europe. Rather, EOOS will provide a light and flexible coordinating framework to help manage and improve the existing observing effort, making it more efficient and effective at different geographical scales, and for different end-users.

Specifically, EOOS will:

  • Align and integrate existing initiatives to ensure efficiency and value for money and to eliminate duplication of effort;
  • Identify gaps in our observing capacity and foster initiatives to fill those gaps;
  • Promote standardization of the end-to-end system from observation collection to data management and products;
  • Drive capacity building and provide leadership for ocean observation;
  • Promote the ocean observing services for multiple sectors including research, policy, management and industry; and
  • Promote a common European voice and integration at the international level.

In this way, EOOS will bring a real added value to existing observing efforts, empowering those who are working to advance ocean observing in Europe, catalyzing new initiatives in a strategic way, targeting identified gaps and speaking with a wide range of stakeholders.

Further information

‘Building European Ocean Observing System’, 8 September 2016, European Parliament event

Download the EOOS flyer Icon of EOOS Flyer (2016) EOOS Flyer (2016) (124.6 KiB)

Download slides on EOOS concept and progress Icon of EOOS Progress EOOS Progress (1.0 MiB)

Download EOOS poster Icon of EOOS Poster 2016 A0 EOOS Poster 2016 A0 (206.4 KiB)

EOOS website has been launched: http://www.eoos-ocean.eu/