The European Ocean Observing System (EOOS) is a coordinating framework designed to align and integrate Europe’s ocean observing capacity, promote a systematic and collaborative approach to collecting information on the state and variability of our seas, and underpin sustainable management of the marine environment and its resources.
Providing 97% of the Earth’s water and 95% of its biosphere, the ocean is a crucial source of food, water, energy and raw materials, and acts as a medium for tourism, transport and commerce. Valued at US$24 trillion (WWF report 2015), the global ocean has been termed the world’s seventh largest economy. The OECD has estimated the gross value added (GVA) of the global ocean economy in 2010, measured in terms of ocean-based industries’ contribution to economic output and employment, at USD $1.5 trillion, or approximately 2.5% of the total global GVA. Sustained ocean observing is crucial to provide data products and services driving the Blue Economy in a responsible and sustainable way, to understand the oceanic environment and help mitigate climate change.
EOOS aims to provide a framework within which European marine observations can be sustained and made available on a continuous basis for applications ranging from real-time services, through ocean health to climate services. EOOS will not take ownership or control of ocean observing in Europe. Rather, EOOS will provide a light and flexible coordinating framework to help manage and improve the existing observing effort, making it more efficient and effective at different geographical scales and for different users.
Specifically, EOOS will:
- Align and connect existing initiatives to ensure efficiency and value for money;
- Identify gaps in the European observing capacity and foster initiatives to fill those gaps;
- Promote observing capacities which can benefit multiple sectors including research, policy, management and industry; and
- Ensure that European ocean observing is integrated into the global observation system(s) by providing a focal point for interaction with international programmes and partner initiatives outside of Europe.