Ocean monitoring systems are necessary but expensive. In order to save costs and improve marine knowledge, the EU was moving to a new paradigm where we collect data once and use them for many purposes. The DG MARE concept of sea-basin checkpoints was introduced within the “Marine Knowledge 2020 communication” and defined in the EU roadmap:

  • To perform regular evaluation of observation networks and supporting observation programs, at the scale of the EU sea basins, and identify priorities both in terms of creation of new data (i.e. enriching data coverage) and in making existing data more available and usable (EU systems shown in orange on figure below).


The checkpoint process / project perimeter with the enhancement loop from decision makers and existing monitoring systems
(an ISO 9004 Quality assessment approach)

Whereas the checkpoint service evaluated & released the status on monitoring data at the scale of the sea basin (blue components on the left), the governing infrastructure took actions to enhance the marine infrastructure (“better know to better act”) and required a new evaluation cycle (if so). Whether checkpoints should be updated and at which frequency according to changes in marine data landscape was for DG MARE to decide. In any case, the design of an open and repeatable process puts us on the safe side if an update was to occur.

An external expert panel reviewed the checkpoint usefulness and provided advices for Marine environment variability and change (climate change, eutrophication, river inputs, bathymetry, alien species).