The European Marine Observation and Data Network

Project Implementation Period: 
January 2009
Specific Funding Programme: 

European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF)

previously: European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF)

About the Project: 

EMOD Net is a long term marine data initiative developed through a series of projects launched by the European Commission’s Directorate -General for Maritime and Fisheries (DG MARE) in 2009. It is a key implementation mechanism of its Marine Knowledge 2020 strategy. Essentially, EMODnet is a consortium of organisations assembling European marine data, data products and metadata from diverse sources in a uniform way. The main purpose of EMODnet is to unlock fragmented and hidden marine data resources and to make these available to individuals and organisations (public and private), and to facilitate investment in sustainable coastal and offshore activities through improved access to quality-assured, standardised and harmonised marine data which are interoperable and free of restrictions on use.

The EMODnet data infrastructure is developed through a stepwise approach in three major phases. Currently EMODnet has finished the 2nd phase of development with seven sub-portals in operation that provide access to marine data from the following themes: bathymetry, geology, physics, chemistry, biology, seabed habitats and human activities. Phase III (2016-2020) works towards providing a seamless multi-resolution digital map of the entire seabed of European waters providing highest resolution possible in areas that have been surveyed, including topography, geology, habitats and ecosystems; accompanied by timely information on physical, chemical and biological state of the overlying water column as well as oceanographic forecasts. EMODnet products and functionality are added regularly while portals are continuously improved to make the service more fit for purpose and user friendly with the help of users and stakeholders.

EMODnet currently consists of five strands:

  • Seven thematic portals providing access to marine data collected, stored and managed by Member States and regional aggregators and creating data products;
  • Six Sea-basin Checkpoints assessing the availability and fitness for purpose of marine data in different regions;
  • A Central Portal, supported by the Flanders Government, giving access to data provided by all the thematic portals and allowing the retrieval of data layers from multiple portals at the same time;
  • An Ingestion Portal facilitating submission of new datasets (operational since February 2017);
  • The EMODnet Secretariat, established in September 2013, who ensure coherence between the different strands; monitor EMODnet; disseminate results, and analyse user feedback and statistics.

Project partners

Project has over 100 partners and large number of contributors. The Secretariat is administered by Seascape Belgium (