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Minutes - 6th Steering Committee Meeting of the European Atlas of the Seas

Published on: Wed, 16/12/2020 - 10:48
Table of Contents
    This article summarise the main discussions of the 6th Steering Committee Meeting of the European Atlas of the Seas which took place remotely on the 1 October 2020.

    6th Steering Committee Meeting of the European Atlas of the Seas 

    Meeting location: Remote meeting

    Date and time: Thursday 01/10/2020 from 9:30 until 12:30

    List of Actions







    SC #

    Action

    Description

    Deadline

    Who?

    Status

    6

    Action 1

    Implement the interactive help for as many key features as possible.

    Next SC

    Bilbomatica

    6

    Action 2

    Consult with EEA for records of surface areas of MPAs. Liaise with Tim Lemmens for the GIS data on MPAs.

    Next SC

    EMODnet Secretariat

    6

    Action 3

    Explore options to create a predefined map under the theme “EU Green Deal” with existing map layers (though we need to make sure they are up to date).

    Next SC

    EMODnet Secretariat and Bilbomatica

    Following this SC meeting, the EMODnet Secretariat discussed the possibility of including EMODnet Human Activities data layers on renewable energy (windfarms) and aquaculture sites, since both will need to increase to achieve Green Deal targets.

    6

    Action 4

    Explore options to create new “EU Green Deal” maps featuring its priorities on the ocean perspective.

    Next phase – after September 2021

    EMODnet Secretariat and Bilbomatica

    6

    Action 5

    Explore options  to organize another “pop-in” event with DG MARE and other DG’s 

    Next SC meeting

    EMODnet Secretariat and DG MARE

    6

    Action 6

    Produce a 2-minute film about the Atlas with a school. 

    September 2021

    EMODnet Secretariat, with support DG MARE

    6

    Action 7

    See how we could include the Atlas in a potential “Ocean” (Euronews) episode on ocean literacy. 

    Autumn 2020

    EMODnet Secretariat and DG MARE

    Following this SC meeting, the EU4Ocean coalition circulated an email to gather ideas. We sent a few ideas to link with the Atlas. These ideas will be presented by the EU4Ocean Coalition to DG MARE and the “Ocean” team. 

    6

    Action 8

    Liaise with Nausicaá about the idea to film the ‘life in and around an aquarium’ in the context of the potential “Ocean” (Euronews) episode on ocean literacy.

    Autumn 2020

    EMODnet Secretariat

    Following this SC meeting, the EU4Ocean coalition circulated an email to gather ideas. We presented this idea and Nausicaá indicated that they would be happy to welcome Euronews at the aquarium. The EU4Ocean Coalition will liaise with DG MARE and the “Ocean” team.

    6

    Action 9

    Liaise with DG MARE communication team about the opportunity to add Atlas maps in DG MARE press releases. 

    Autumn 2020

    EMODnet Secretariat

    6

    Action 10 

    Invite someone from the EU4Ocean Coalition to the next SC meeting.

    Autumn 2020

    EMODnet Secretariat

    6

    Action 11

    Tweet more about conferences beforehand and during the events in highlighting relevant maps. Develop a social media content calendar for the coming months.

    Autumn 2020

    EMODnet Secretariat

    6

    Action 12

    Develop a more structured approach regarding new partnerships for the Atlas. Make an analysis of our weaknesses to have complementarity in the partnership.  

    Next SC meeting

    EMODnet Secretariat

    6

    Action 13

    Envisage the possibility to use symbols to identify maps with a related map story or maps with an exercise in the Teachers’ Corner.

    Autumn 2020

    Bilbomatica

    6

    Action 14

    Link more the Atlas communication to events and policy developments (close link with Action 11).

    Autumn 2020

    EMODnet Secretariat, with support DG MARE

    5

    Action 3

    Check for new fisheries datasets regarding catches to add in the Atlas

    Next SC meeting

    EMODnet Secretariat and Bilbomatica

    Ongoing

    5

    Action 4

    Follow up with Fabienne Jacq and Mercator Ocean to integrate maps from the CMEMS Ocean State Report

    Next SC meeting

    EMODnet Secretariat

    Two OMI draft maps were created and are under review by CMEMS for inclusion

    5

    Action 5

    Follow up with EEA and DG ENV to consider ingesting more MSFD layers and other layers relevant for environment

    Next SC meeting

    EMODnet Secretariat

    Ongoing

    5

    Action 6

    Investigate how to better organize and categorize  information regarding the predefined maps

    Next SC meeting

    EMODnet Secretariat and Bilbomatica

    Ongoing

    5

    Action 7

    Explore possibilities to generate more feedback from users

    Next SC meeting

    EMODnet Secretariat 

    Ongoing

    4

    Action 4

    Make a small guidance document on how to embed the atlas and send it to media outlets

    Initially 30 November 2019

    EMODnet Secretariat

    Ongoing

    4

    Action 5

    Involve DG RTD in collaboration and exchanges with Eurocean

    Continuous

    EMODnet Secretariat

    Ongoing

    4

    Action 7

    Investigate and report on the required resources for a caching system

    30 November 2019

    Bilbomatica

    Ongoing

    Meeting Minutes

    1. Welcome and approval of the agenda - EMODnet Secretariat & DG MARE

    Jan-Bart Calewaert (EMODnet Secretariat) welcomed the participants, noting that it had been a busy period and there were many new updates since the last meeting, with the release of the version 6 of the Atlas, new content and features. He introduced the meeting co-chairs, Chantal Vanhove (DG MARE) and Zoi Konstantinou (DG MARE). 

    Zoi Konstantinou (DG MARE) congratulated the Atlas team with the amazing work has been done over the past six months. With the latest release, there is an even greater potential for the European Atlas of the Seas to contribute to ocean literacy initiatives but also as a tool for other audiences. She thanked everyone and said she hopes that as much can be achieved in the coming six months.

    Chantal Vanhove (DG MARE) expressed her pride in the team regarding what was achieved in the last six months and her satisfaction with the collaboration with the EMODnet Secretariat and Bilbomática. 

    Alberto Telletxea (Bilbomática) added that the good collaboration with the EMODnet Secretariat and DG MARE is an important part of the success of the project. 

    Jan-Bart Calewaert (EMODnet Secretariat) presented two new colleagues: 

    • Clara Becares from Bilbomática, who has been working since August 2020 on the technical side for the Atlas. 
    • Nathalie Van Isacker from the EMODnet Secretariat, working since September 2020 to support the communication and outreach activities of the Atlas. 

    A tour de table of all the participants followed (see the full list in Annex). 

    1. Updates since last meeting 

    Jan-Bart Calewaert (EMODnet Secretariat) presented key updates since the last meeting with a focus on: 

    • The release of the Atlas Version 6, with availability in 24 languages and many other new features; 
    • The increase in the number of visits in the past 3 months: 

    • The new collaborations for the creation of maps (EU4Ocean, Copernicus, etc.). 

    1. Main features of the Atlas Version 6

    Natalia Orio and Josu Olaso (Bilbomática) gave a brief presentation of the main features visitors can access in the Atlas Version 6.  asc6_1_main_features.pdf


    New functions and features in the Atlas V6 

    • Professional translation in 24 languages.
    • The integration of some Maps of the Week (or Story maps) in the Atlas (21);
    • The setting of advanced features (print tool and measure tool);
    • The implementation of a new print module;
    • New interactive help feature
    • More space for accompanying texts to predefined maps with information on EU policies;
    • The integration of a mind map (or Atlas overview) in the Atlas;
    • Improvement of the legends;

    Questions & comments

    Stanislova Jonusas (DG MARE): At the moment, we need to activate the print tool in order to be able to use it. Can the print tool be activated by default, all the time? 

    Tim Collart (EMODnet Secretariat): The print tool is considered as an advanced feature. More advanced features will be added in the future. In order not to clutter the interface of the Atlas, we have decided to have the option to switch on and off advanced features, so as not to have too many options opened at the same time. 

    Chantal Vanhove (DG MARE): I would like to know your opinion about the new interactive help compared to a more traditional help section. Should the interactive help replace the traditional help file? 

    Jan-Bart Calewaert (EMODnet Secretariat): The interactive help is useful and is working well towards young people. 

    Alessandra Portis (DG MARE): The interactive help is what I like the most. It is also available in the 24 languages. 

    • Action 1: Implement the interactive help for as many key features as possible.

    1. Content development and new maps  

    Tim Collart (EMODnet Secretariat) presented the maps that were added and updated since the last Steering Committee meeting as well as the planned updates and map additions for the coming months. asc6_4_content_development.pdf

    Questions & Comments

    Jan-Bart Calewaert (EMODnet Secretariat): The collaboration with data providers takes a lot of effort and energy but it results in very nice layers to be added. We need your help to identify potential new sources of data. 

    Joana Patricio (DG MARE): Are you in contact with the European Fisheries Control Agency? 

    Tim Collart (EMODnet Secretariat) – in the Webex chat: Yes, we are in dialogue to create a map from the Joint Deployment Plans they released in their reports. 

    Chantal Vanhove (DG MARE): We were in contact with them last year and we hope the collaboration will go forward, we’ve met them during the Seafood Expo. We hope we will overcome technical issues and will involve Joana’s unit in the future. 

    Stanislova Jonusas (DG MARE): I would like to see the possibility to add marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Atlas, but not the way it is done now. The Atlas provides information on the numbers of areas but not on the surface. Example: in the Baltic Sea, we have MPAs established by regional environmental conventions, fisheries convention organizations,… Is it possible to map those areas in the Atlas? 

    Tim Collart (EMODnet Secretariat): EMODnet Human Activities provides in the Atlas the map on Marine Natura 2000 Sites. 

    Tim Lemmens (DG MARE) – in the Webex chat: I do have some (older) GIS data which partially contain these marine protected areas. I'd have to look how complete they are. If interested, I can provide this.

    Zoi Konstantinou (DG MARE): It is a good idea. The EEA may have a record that could be used. We should make this effort. We should play a role in assembling scattered data from Member States. 

    Stanislova Jonusas (DG MARE): MPAs are high on the agenda, the Commission is working toward this direction and it is interesting for the audience as well. We should show the results of increasing surfaces of MPAs and it can be tangible in the Atlas. 

    Tim Collart (EMODnet Secretariat): We could display the evolution in MPAs and make an interesting map out of this. 

    Conor Delaney (EMODnet Secretariat) – in the Webex chat: thank you Stanislova, there is also a service available from EEA: https://marine.discomap.eea.europa.eu/arcgis/rest/services/Marine/Marine_Protected_Areas_2016/MapServer

    • Action 2: Check with EEA for records of surface areas of MPAs. Liaise with Tim Lemmens for the GIS data on MPAs.

    Alessandra Portis (DG MARE): We could create a map to feature the EU Green Deal, its priorities and its implementation from the ocean perspective. That way, we can show the priorities of the Commission (from the different DGs) and priorities of the Green Deal. We could create different layers (e.g. biodiversity, Farm to Fork, vessels angle and how we can reduce the carbon footprint of the shipping industry, MPAs, etc.). 

    Zoi Konstantinou (DG MARE): It is a good idea on one hand but where would the information come from? Under the current contract, we can have maps that can be linked with Green Deal priorities, i.e. a predefined map tagged under “EU Green Deal” (e.g. windfarms and aquaculture sites). For the next phase, we can think about how to implement this, we need to collaborate to achieve this, thinking in terms of implementation. 

    Alessandra Portis (DG MARE): It requires a coordination effort from different Directorate-Generals. This could also include projects. We need to be sure that the maps we will flag under the EU Green Deal are up to date in terms of data. We should think about EU Green Deal maps in the coming months/years: the regulation and directives in place will help us to identify what could be featured in the different maps.

    Tim Collart (EMODnet Secretariat): We can combine different data into a predefined map. We might need to expand the content that we have to support this. 

    • Action 3: Explore options to create a predefined map under the theme “EU Green Deal” with existing map layers (though we need to make sure they are up to date).
    • Action 4: Explore options to create new “EU Green Deal” maps featuring its priorities on the ocean perspective (for the next phase – after September 2021).

    1. Communication and Partnerships 

    Andrée-Anne Marsan and Nathalie Van Isacker (EMODnet Secretariat) presented an overview of what had been done over the last six months regarding the Atlas promotion and outreach (with a strong focus on the release of the Atlas V6 on 16 September 2020) and gave a flavour of what is planned in the coming months.  asc6_presentationcommunication.pdf

    Questions & comments

    Jan-Bart Calewaert (EMODnet Secretariat) proposed the idea of doing another “pop-in” event with DG MARE and other DGs colleagues to try the Atlas and collect feedback, possibly even virtually.  

    • Action 5: Explore options to organize another “pop-in” event with DG MARE and other DG’s (a first “pop-in” event took place at DG MARE in June 2018 for attendees to try the Atlas and provide live feedback).

    Bert de Meester (DG MARE) congratulated the communication team of the Atlas for their effort and underlined the good collaboration with DG MARE communication team. It had been decided with DG COMM to close the Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram accounts to concentrate our effort on the Atlas Twitter account, the one with the most interactions and engagements from users. It could be interesting to produce a 2-minute video with a school showing how they use the Atlas, to bring a more human story into the Atlas. The Ocean series of Euronews will potentially produce an episode about ocean literacy. We should see how to add elements of the Atlas in it, even if the series focuses more on human stories and not projects and tools. If the EMODnet Secretariat needs footage for upcoming videos, DG MARE has access to some footage from the Ocean series. 

    • Action 6: Produce a 2-minute film about the Atlas with a school. 
    • Action 7: See how the Atlas could be included in a potential “Ocean” (Euronews) episode on ocean literacy. 

    Alessandra Portis (DG MARE): We could tweet about a related map when the Ocean series launch an episode on a certain topicThere is a good synergy and actions are beneficial for both accounts (DG MARE and Atlas). 

    Jan-Bart Calewaert (EMODnet Secretariat): About the Euronews episode on ocean literacy, they could potentially film in the impressive aquarium at Nausicaá if possible and present the life in the aquarium, testimonials from people taking care of the aquarium, the connection with the visitors, etc. We can potentially make links with the Atlas. 

    • Action 8: Liaise with Nausicaá about this idea to film the aquarium in the context of the potential “Ocean” (Euronews) episode on ocean literacy. 

    Bert de Meester (DG MARE): For the media and press releases, we are often working closely with the cabinet of the Commissioner. An idea could be to find interesting maps to display in DG MARE press releases. It is another way to promote the Atlas. 

    • Action 9: Liaise with DG MARE communication team about the opportunity to add Atlas maps in DG MARE press releases.   

    Zoi Konstantinou (DG MARE) – in the Webex chat: We should invite someone from the EU4Ocean Coalition to the next SC meeting. 

    • Action 10: Invite someone from the EU4Ocean Coalition to the next SC meeting.

    Stanislova Jonusas (DG MARE): The Baltic Conference was held earlier this week. Did you see an opportunity to promote the Atlas during the conference? 

    Nathalie Van Isacker (EMODnet Secretariat): It will be the topic of our “Map of the week” tomorrow. It will be a retrospective of the Conference and we will focus on sustainable fisheries. We have chosen the “Map of the week” as the way to promote the conference this time. In the future, we can promote conferences beforehand or during the conferences in tweets highlighting relevant maps.

    • Action 11: Tweet more about conferences beforehand and during the events in highlighting relevant maps. Develop a social media content calendar for the coming months. 

    Stanislova Jonusas (DG MARE): How do we choose the partners and the partnership agreements? I have the impression that the number of users visiting the Atlas from the Northern part of Europe is low compared to other parts. How do you raise potential opportunities of new partnership and maximise impact of existing partnerships? For example, Sweden has a very advanced programme when it comes to the marine environment in general. 

    Zoi Konstantinou (DG MARE): It is a great idea. We try to connect with as many organisations as possible which can provide relevant information and data or connections coming from their initiatives. Sometimes it is us who are prompting them, sometimes it is the other way around. Until now, there was no geographical focus on the development of partnership. We should strengthen the partnership and have a more structured approach, identify our weaknesses and have a targeted search. The EU4ocean Platform can be a good source of information. 

    • Action 12: Develop a more structured approach regarding new partnerships for the Atlas. Make an analysis of our weaknesses to have complementarity in the partnership.  

    1. Performance monitoring 

    Natalia Orio (Bilbomática) gave a brief presentation on the availability of the services and the statistics of the Atlas in terms of the number of visits and average duration.

    Questions & Comments

    Tim Collart (EMODnet Secretariat): The monitoring tool is very useful to follow up with the data providers and the performance of the Atlas. I am happy to see the user-statistics and the impact of the V6 release and of the communication campaign. There was a 40% increase in September compared to August, which was already a good month. 

    1. Future developments

    Tim Collart (EMODnet Secretariat) introduced the presentation of Bilbomática: We are thinking about the future. We want to target young people and students and be an even more useful tool in education and ocean literacy. Bilbomática  will present the new strategy. Clara Becares (Bilbomática) presented the technical improvements and new features foreseen, i.e. Identify map services status, create your own map, new monitoring tool.  asc6_7_future_developments.pdf

    Questions & comments

    Conor Delaney (EMODnet Secretariat): With the monitoring tool and the identification of the status on the map, we make sure that users do not feel discouraged and are aware that if there is no data in the Atlas now it is because there is a temporary problem. It should improve confidence in the system. Ideally, no data is failing but if it failed, it is communicated in a transparent way. 

    Chantal Vanhove (DG MARE): We could also use symbols to identify maps with a related map story or maps with an exercise in the Teachers’ Corner. 

    • Action 13: Envisage the possibility to use symbols to identify maps with a related map story or maps with an exercise in the Teachers’ Corner.

    Stanislova Jonusas (DG MARE): In October, there will be the meeting of the European Council and fishing opportunity for cod will be cut by 70% in the Baltic, thus affecting the fishermen. It will be a hard time explaining to constituencies the decision by the Council and the outcome. Maybe the Atlas could help by providing a map of fishing vessels in that area and how they developed over time. We will need to agree with the people preparing for the Council. 

    Zoi Konstantinou (DG MARE): We should be on board with something like this and I am available to discuss more. We could link to policy and advanced thinking. It should be a priority to increase the internal use of the Atlas and to promote it. We should link the Atlas to other events and policy developments and we would appreciate your prompting us with any insights about opportunities to link up to promote and advertise the Atlas. 

    • Action 14: Link the Atlas more to communication about events and policy developments (close link with Action 11).

    1. Any other business and/or particular feedback? 

    No further comments. 

    1. Next meeting time and location

    Jan-Bart Calewaert (EMODnet Secretariat) thanked all the speakers and participants for their time and interest. A Doodle link will be sent shortly to set the next meeting in Spring 2021. He gave the floor to DG MARE for the final word. 

    Chantal Vanhove (DG MARE) and Zoi Konstantinou (DG MARE) thanked the EMODnet Secretariat for organising and running the meeting, as well as the Atlas team for the hard work. It paid off and we saw an increase in the usability and use of the Atlas. They thanked the external participants for their input and useful ideas and expressed their anticipation of future collaborations. 

    End of Meeting

    Annex 1 – List of participants




    Name

    Organisation

    Chantal Vanhove

    DG MARE 

    Zoi Konstantinou 

    DG MARE

    Grigore Rischitor

    DG MARE

    Stanislova Jonusas

    DG MARE

    Tim Lemmens

    DG MARE

    Joana Patricio 

    DG MARE

    Bert De Meester

    DG MARE

    Alessandra Portis

    DG MARE

    Alberto Telletxea

    Bilbomática

    Natalia Orio Moreno

    Bilbomática

    Clara Becares

    Bilbomática

    Josu Olaso 

    Bilbomática

    Sheila Garcia

    Bilbomática

    Iñigo Malillos

    Bilbomática

    Jan-Bart Calewaert

    EMODnet Secretariat

    Conor Delaney

    EMODnet Secretariat

    Tim Collart

    EMODnet Secretariat

    Andrée-Anne Marsan 

    EMODnet Secretariat

    Nathalie Van Isacker 

    EMODnet Secretariat