Our Purpose

Coordinating and integrating European ocean observing.

Connecting communities and stakeholders for the future

Our vision

By 2030, the European ocean observing community and networks will work seamlessly together to deliver the essential ocean information needed for the sustainable use of our ocean’s resources.

Our mission

The mission of the European Ocean Observing System (EOOS) is to be a stakeholder driven framework that integrates Europe’s ocean observing communities and facilitates coordinating the multiple organisations operating, supporting and maintaining ocean observing and monitoring infrastructures.

Maximising value

By helping to secure long-term financial investment from multiple stakeholders to create infrastructures that support more sustainable ocean management, we will maximise the value and benefit of European ocean observations. This will lead to improved knowledge and the production of goods and services to benefit society.

As an efficient, fit-for-purpose framework, we will be an integral part of the global ocean and wider earth observing system incorporated into the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).

Western Mediterranean Sea. Photo: EMSO ERIC

Why ocean observing?

We depend on the ocean, not least for the air we breathe.

More than ever, ocean observing has the potential to meet challenges arising out of human impact on the environment and climate change.

When we observe the ocean, we can monitor and, in some cases, prevent coastal erosion and inundation which is especially important for those Europeans who live near the coast. We are better able to protect and grow the blue economy, including the ocean as a food source.

We are more able to harness the power of the ocean in relation to green energy.

Ocean observing is essential to developing the scientific knowledge we need to assess ongoing changes in the ocean and their impact on economies and act. We can’t manage what we don’t know.

Meeting the challenge

Near real time ocean datasets underpin:

  • Maritime activities
  • Marine resources management
  • Ocean and weather forecasting

They also enable us to assess ocean health and improve the quality of warnings relating to extreme or hazardous events, climate monitoring and prediction and act appropriately.

In the long-term, ocean observing across all parameters also helps track, understand, and forecast human impacts and the effect of climate change on ocean health.

By working together, we can increase our knowledge and better manage the vital resources provided by the ocean.

This means making ocean observing data more widely available and usable by multiple sectors that include research, industry, and national authorities responsible for the marine environment and maritime activities.

Most of all, we need ocean observing to be recognised as essential service.

Why a European Framework?

A trusted forum

Building on the European ocean observing community’s powerful desire to work together, EOOS connects the diverse European organisations, networks, initiatives and projects dedicated to ocean observing.

The EOOS framework breaks down silos and removes barriers to improve information sharing, connecting national, regional, pan-European and global ocean observing.

We have already enabled some countries to begin the process of forming committees to better coordinate their national ocean observing activities.

M6 Data Buoy on the RV Celtic Explorer. Photo: Tomasz Szumski, Marine Institute, Ireland

Today, EOOS is a unique, trusted forum for communities and stakeholders to come together without compromising their own governance systems or agendas. As part of the EOOS framework, we are all able to discuss the future, promote the need for sustained ocean observing and engage users and funders.

In this way, we deliver a holistic vision of European ocean observing shared by all stakeholders.