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Ocean Observation


Through its pan-European network, the European Marine Board provides expert advice from the European marine scientific community in the areas of ocean observation and Marine Research Infrastructures (MRIs) to inform marine research policy and strategic planning. EMB is also a lead organization promoting the development of an end-to-end European Ocean Observing System (EOOS) to align, integrate and promote Europe's ocean observing capacity. 

EMB activities to date include publication of foresight papers (e.g. EMODnet vision document, Navigating the Future IV, chapter 11), policy statements (e.g. EurOCEAN Declarations), responses to European consultations (e.g. Marine Knowledge 2020). Throughout these activities, EMB has been an active and leading promoter of the need for a European Ocean Observing System (EOOS) and, since 2015 has actively worked with EuroGOOS and other organizations to facilitate a coordinating framework for EOOS. EMB is currently a partner in the H2020 AtlantOS project and in the EMODnet Phase III, supporting development of the EOOS. A number of core EMB activities also related to EOOS including a Working Group on Strengthening Europe's biological ocean observing capability. Throughout its activities EMB continues to work with relevant networks and initiatives, including EuroGOOS, ESFRI, EMODnet, Copernicus CMEMS and JPI Oceans


Towards an end-to-end European Ocean Observing System 

There is a growing recognition of the need to build a comprehensive, end-to-end European Ocean Observing System (EOOS) to coordinate the currently fragmented and complex ocean observing capacity across Europe. EMB are working with EuroGOOS and related organizations and stakeholders to facilitate this development. Read more at the EOOS website.

EOOS Forum:

8 March 2018, Area 42, Brussels. “Integrated and sustained ocean observing: a European strategy". Listen to the Webinar and read the EOOS Forum News item 


EOOS Conference: *Registration and call for abstracts open; programme online*

21-23 November 2018, The Egg (175 Bara Street), Brussels. Evolving EOOS: Connecting communities for end-to-end solutions". Call deadline 13 August 2018.

Communicating EOOS

European Marine Board, as an active and leading promoter of EOOS, attends and presents EOOS at different events. Some examples are listed below:

  • 4th GEO Blue Planet Symposium (4-6 July 2018; Toulouse, France). Presentation at Session 2: Producing and Deriving Coastal and Ocean Information on EOOS; and several posters on EOOS, Biological Ocean Observations and AtlantOS.


Background of EOOS development:

In 2015, EMB and EuroGOOS launched a joint activity on EOOS as a framework for advancing Europe's capability for ocean observation. This crucially brought together the operational oceanographic and wider marine scientific communities. On 12-13 May 2015, a joint workshop was held in Brussels bringing together experts from the marine scientific and operational oceanographic communities to develop a roadmap, time-line and governance structure for EOOS that could build on existing resources and initiatives. This was convened with the long-term goal of implementing a flagship initiative building on existing resources and commitments and aligning with international developments such as the Framework for Ocean Observing. In 2016, EuroGOOS and EMB convened the first EOOS Steering Group co-Chaired by these two organizations and including the European Commission (DG RTD, MARE and GROW), JPI-Oceans and National experts. An EOOS Advisory Committee including the Steering Group members and wider ocean observation stakeholders has been formed to advise on the EOOS stakeholder events - this will hold its Kick-Off meeting on 8 February 2018 in Brussels.








Public event and Stakeholder Consultation on EOOS

On 8 September 2016, EOOS progress and a consultation document were presented at a dedicated European Parliament event hosted by MEP Ricardo Serrão Santos (see image on left). An open public stakeholder consultation on EOOS was also launched between December 2016 and January 2017. The consultation collected views from the European ocean observing community and wider stakeholders spanning policy, industry and national agencies, on what EOOS should look like and how it should be run. The consultation aimed at scoping the stakeholders’ buy-in to the EOOS concept and the priorities of the EOOS focus. In total 115 responses were received, and the vast majority of the respondents endorsed the EOOS concept and the need for a coordinating framework for the European Ocean Observing. A summary report presenting a high-level overview of the results is now available. Based on this survey and the EOOS forum 2018, the draft EOOS Strategy and Implementation Plan were developed. Those were released for an open consultation running from 25 April to 15 June 2018. EOOS coordination team and steering group are considering all inputs and are preparing updated versions of the strategy and implementation plan – both for release on this website. The documents will be finalized for adoption at the EOOS conference 2018 (21-23/11, Brussels).

EOOS European Parliament event, 8 September 2016, Brussels.


Sustained ocean observations are crucial to track and understand the complex and vast oceanic environment, providing data, products and services to underpin a knowledge-driven society. But are we doing enough to optimize existing efforts for future generations and what should Europe's contribution be to the Global Ocean Observing System?

The concept of a truly end-end European Ocean Observation system was first formally endorsed at the EurOCEAN 2010 conference where the resulting Ostend Declaration called for policy makers to "Support the development of a truly integrated and sustainably funded European Ocean Observing System to establish Europe's global leading role." And in June 2013, EMB published Navigating the Future IV, with chapter 11 dedicated to 'EOOS'. This set out four pillars for an end-to-end EOOS, namely stakeholders, infrastructure, data services and outputs (products and services).


Contacts at European Marine Board Secretariat: Kate Larkin Email and Ángel E. Muñiz Piniella Email