The monitoring of activities at sea is important for many reasons. Just think about shipping accidents, border controls and defence, economic reasons like custom checks and the protection of the marine environment from illegal, unregulated fisheries and other harmful practices. However, monitoring offshore activities in the vast area of the open ocean (and high seas) proves difficult for any single national or regional authority. Furthermore, several regions or nations may collect the same information making maritime surveillance an expensive and inefficient process.
In order to further improve the maritime surveillance of European waters for safer, more secure and cleaner seas, several projects have been chartered by the European Commission. These have focused on the creation of an integrated maritime surveillance system where surveillance information is shared between regions, nations and EU authorities1. The map of the week features the extents of the marine regions covered by each of these Integrated Maritime Surveillance Projects. In addition, the European Commission and the EU/EEA Member States are also developing a Common Information Sharing Environment (CISE)2. This online platform aims to make the various existing maritime surveillance systems interoperable and use modern technologies to improve information sharing and facilitate cooperation.
The data in this map were provided by the European Commission.