Maritime Forum

Maritime Forum Themes


"EUROGOOS: European Global Ocean Observing System" (3.4)

Event date:
19/05/2010 - 11:15 to 13:00
Table of Contents

    EuroGOOS is an association of currently 36 European public bodies with national responsibilities for operational oceanography. It coordinates the development of an operational capacity to observe and predict the state of the European seas and develop end-user services. The session will show the view of EuroGOOS of Operational Oceanography Services in support of the European Maritime Policy, making special focus in key concepts for the improvement of the existing services.




    “EUROGOOS: European Global Ocean Observing System” (3.4)

    19 May 2010, 11:15-13:00



    Chair: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Peter Ehlers, EuroGOOS Chair




    Enrique Álvarez Fanjul, Jefe de Área de Medio Físico, Puertos del Estado

    Hans Dahlin, EUROGOOS Director

    Pierre Bahurel. Director, Mercator Ocean

    Nadia Pinardi. Chair and Network Coordinator, Mediterranean Operational Oceanography Network (MOON),



    1. Three key messages
    • The implementation of the Integrated Maritime Policy for Europe requires an end-to-end, integrated and inter-operable network of marine observations and data communications, management and delivery systems.
    • The urgently needed operational oceanographic observation system must be secured by long-term commitments of the European Union and their Member States and corresponding financial support in order to close still existing huge observation gaps and provide those services required by different users.
    • When establishing the necessary infrastructure for a European observation system EuroGOOS, providing since long an operational oceanographic network, may play an important role in promoting the system and coordinating the operational activities.


    1. Summary of the interventions from the panel

    2.1.Enrique Álvarez Fanjul:


    The challenges for development of European operational oceanography  are:

    -         Existing gaps in the measuring system

    -         Lack of long term commitments to maintain the systems  

    -         Improve the visibility and the understanding by the society of the economic impact and benefit of the operational oceanography systems

    -         Responsibility for oceanographic systems often divided between several agencies, institutes and ministries. A coordination effort, leaded like in the last decade by EuroGOOS, is required.


    2.2. Hans-Dahlin:


    Issues to be  considered to implement EMODNET are:

    -         Discovery of existing holdings of marine data relevant to the identified needs.

    -         Performance of a gap analyses to determine where the shortcomings in existing data lie for the coastal and open oceans.

    -         Coordinate joint investments in sustainable, efficient observing systems.

    -         Removal of the impediments to exchange and effective access to data

    -         Implementing collaboration and governance arrangements to sustain the EMODNET: Intergovernmental agreements involving the EU and Member States will be essential to provide an adequate level of governance and ensure long term investments.


    2.3. Pierre Bahurel:


    The values of MyOcean are:

    -         MyOcean has developed a new generation system for marine monitoring and forecasting

    -         Europe has joined forces to set up the best system

    -         The system is running

    -         The European States have good foundations to foster their national adding-value services.


    2.4. Nadia Pinardi:



    -         The European Operational Oceanographic service is now a reality, i.e.the GMES Marine Core Service

    -          Products are characterized by pan-European standards, harmonized quality and development plans, free and open access to all users

    -         An initial portfolio of end-user applications shows the impact of MyOcean innovative products in support of the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.


    1. Discussion: Key questions and messages from the floor, as well as responses given by the panellists. If possible please indicate names and organisations of persons intervening in the discussion.


    -         Some participants asked for the relations of European marine data policy with the GEOSS initiative. There exist close contacts between GMES and GEOSS, the MyOcean project is registered with GEOSS; the priority of an integration of different initiatives of European level must have priority.


    -         Question: Are there intentions to extend the global and regional European activities in particular within the MyOcean project to the local coastal level?

    During the initial phase the focus is directed toward the global and regional level; whereas the coastal areas are cared for by national sercices; however, in future a closer link may be established.


    Information was given that EuroGOOS at present is discussing to change its organisational structure into an economic interest group to become a legal entity. This may help EuroGOOS to play a stronger role in future coordination activities.


    A lively discussion came up related to the   professional qualification of persons working in the field of operational ceanography which requires specific skills. Though the future operational services will create new job perspectives the present education does not sufficiently meet the specific demands for science based engineering. This issue needs further consideration.



    1.  Links to presentations and speeches by speakers, and other documentation relevant for the workshop


    Attached files with presentations and introductory remarks from the chairman


    Contact person:


    Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Peter Ehlers, phone: ++494072978431, email:


    Dr. Almudena Agüero. Technical Adviser. Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, International Cooperation DG, Deputy Direction European Programmes. Tel: 34-916037951; Fax: 34 916037021