Maritime Forum

Maritime Forum Themes


Meeting between International Hydrographic Organisation and European Commission services

Event date:
28/01/2015 - 00:00
Table of Contents
    discussed progress on EMODnet and spatial planning

    A meeting between the International Hydrographic Organization - European Union Network Working Group (IHO-EU Network WG - IENWG) and representatives of the European Commission, Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG Mare) took place in Paris (Saint-Mandé) France, on 28-29 January 2015.


    • Iain Shepherd (DG Mare) 28 January only
    • Cristina Amil-Lopez (DG Mare)
    • Gilles Bessero (International Hydrographic Bureau)
    • Paul Canham, United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (United Kingdom)
    • Rune Carbuhn, Danish Geodata Agency, Geodatastyrelsen (Denmark)
    • Michel Even, Service Hydrographique et Océanographique de la Marine (France)
    • Bruno Frachon, Service Hydrographique et Océanographique de la Marine (France)
    • Gerhard Heggebø, Norwegian Hydrographic Service (Norway)
    • Mathias Jonas, Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie (Germany)
    • Corine Lochet, Service Hydrographique et Océanographique de la Marine (France)
    • Yves-Henri Renhas, Service Hydrographique et Océanographique de la Marine (France)
    • Noralf Slotsvik, Norwegian Hydrographic Service (Norway)
    • Jose Ramon Torres Garcia, Instituto Hidrográfico de la Marina (Spain)
    • Magnus Wallhagen, Hydrographic Office, Swedish Maritime Administration (Sweden) Apologies:
    • Suzanne Dael, Danish Geodata Agency, Geodatastyrelsen (Denmark)
    • Panagiotis Gkionis, Hellenic Navy Hydrographic Service (Greece)
    • Jens-Peter Hartmann, Danish Geodata Agency, Geodatastyrelsen (Denmark)

    Summary report and decisions:

    1. Welcome and approbation of agenda (pdf as attached file 1)

    Michel Even welcomes the participants. The draft agenda is adopted.

    1. Participation in EMODnet programme (pdf as attached file 2, 3 and 4)

    EMODnet is the flagship project of DG Mare in Marine Knowledge. It gives access to data in several domains of the maritime environment. Two contracts EMODnet1 and EMODnet 1bis have been achieved in bathymetry. A third contract, EMODnet2, is in progress. It should be achieved by mid-2016. EMODnet bathymetry gives access to Digital Model Terrain (DTM) in European waters with a 1/8 minute resolution, through an Internet portal. A fourth call for tender is foreseen in the second semester 2015 for 5.1 M€ for 3 years.

    In Oostende, 19 February 2014, IHO committed itself to support EMODnet, especially EMODnet bathymetry with the following statement:

    - The IHO considers the development of EMODnet as the best driver for Marine Knowledge 2020.

    • The IHO is committed to support this programme in the long term
    • The IHO will provide sustainable operational solutions with appropriate accuracy and updating mechanisms through current IHO regional structures and approaches
    • The IHO strongly recommends the use of relevant international standards such as ISO, IHO and Inspire compatible standards within EMODnet

    DG Mare wants to give free access through Internet to a DTM at the highest resolution compatible with the underlying data.

    HOs hold most of the best data available and have the ability to elaborate high quality DTMs. However, some of them could be reluctant to release all their data for several reasons:

    • National security reasons (defence and security)
    • Safety of navigation (to avoid that inadequate data be used for navigation purposes)
    • Business model (royalties may contribute to a substantial part of some HOs budget)

    However, HOs would probably in most cases be willing to release data and to deliver DTM at a higher resolution than the current resolution of EMODnet (1/8 minute). This issue should be thoroughly discussed within HOs and between IHO EU Network WG and DG Mare. HOs want to take part in the next phase of EMODnet.

    It is noted that a user group should replace the Marine Observation and Data Expert Group (MODEG).

    In some areas depths are changing or are not yet well known, or navigation is changing with vessels with increased draught. When new surveys are performed, DTM should be updated. Therefore EMODnet should be based on a sustainable process.

    3. Maritime spatial planning (pdf as attached file 5, 6 and 7)

    The directive 2014/89/EU of 23 July 2014 has been published. HOs should be involved in providing maritime geospatial data. In some Member States, maritime spatial planning (MSP) has already been implemented. That is the case in Germany, where the HO is responsible for MSP within the EEZ.

    Germany adopted a law on maritime spatial planning as soon as 2004. Mathias Jonas emphasized the priority given to shipping routes, in accordance with UNCLOS, the need to take into account environmental assessment and the need of trans-boundary coordination.

    Cristina Amil-Lopez gave a presentation on the directive. MSP is required to address the following issues: unsustainable use of maritime space; increasing conflict on access to maritime space; lack of legal certainty; limited cross-border cooperation. Maritime Spatial Data Infrastructure (MSDI) could support the implementation of maritime spatial planning. DG Mare could fund some trans-boundary projects. They should be proposed by the national authorities in charge of the implementation of the directive.

    Yves-Henri Renhas recalls the reasons why HOs should be involved in maritime spatial planning.

    4. Next meeting

    The date and place of the next meeting with DG Mare has been not decided during the meeting. However, DG Mare mentioned an EMODnet Jamboree in Oostende in October 2015. Commissioner Karmenu Vella could participate in this meeting. HOs will probably be represented on this occasion.