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