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15th EMODnet Steering Committee Meeting - September 2021 - Meeting Minutes

This article summarises the main discussions of the 15th EMODnet Steering Committee Meeting which took place remotely in September 2021.

15th EMODnet Steering Committee Meeting

Autumn 2021

Meeting venue: InnovOcean, Oostende, Belgium and online(zoom)

Dates: Wednesday 8 September 2021 (14:00-17:30, Open Session, Joint with EMODnet Technical Working Group and EC Marine Knowledge Expert Group), Thursday 9 September 2021 (09:30-12:30, Closed session)

Meeting Chairs: Jan-Bart Calewaert (JBC – Head, EMODnet Secretariat) & Zoi Konstantinou (ZK – DG MARE)

Participants: See Annex I

Go to meeting agenda and documents

Actions List


By who?




Thematic and Data Ingestion updates and edits to the EMODnet Central Portal website should be sent to the EMODnet Secretariat general e-mail address: secretariatatemodnet [dot] eu (secretariat[at]emodnet[dot]eu)

EMODnet Coordinators

31 December 2021


All to send information of any organisations linked to data of the Caspian Sea to EMODnet Seabed Habitats


31 December 2021


Share the presentation of the EMODnet online survey and targeted assessment with EC MKEG and SC so these can be further discussed further in meetings on 9 September 2021

EMODnet Secretariat

9 September 2021



Feedback on EMODnet videos (footage, content) and help to disseminate videos

EMODnet Steering Committee

31 December 2021


Convene a meeting between EMODnet Bathymetry, EC DG DEFIS and Copernicus Marine Service colleagues to discuss the use of Sentinel 2 satellite-derived bathymetry in EMODnet Bathymetry data products

EMODnet Bathymetry & EMODnet Secretariat

31 December 2021


Convene a meeting between EMODnet Physics and Copernicus Marine Service to discuss opportunities for a joint activity to produce data products with forecasting in (near) real-time

EMODnet Physics & EMODnet Secretariat

31 December 2021


Secretariat to update all Coordinators of recent UNEP-MAP 2023 meeting to highlight potential input and collaboration areas to help facilitate and to link thematics where most relevant.

EMODnet Secretariat

24 September 2021



Secretariat will provide their pledge (“#MakeEUBlue”) to be used for inspiration for the thematic lots.

EMODnet Secretariat

30 October 2021


All EMODnet Coordinators are invited to make a pledge for “#MakeEUBlue.

EMODnet Coordinators

31 December 2021


Steering Committee (SC) to provide information on upcoming events to the Secretariat for the online calendar

EMODnet Steering Committee

31 December 2021


Have a concerted participation to the “IODE Conference 2022” including participation of each thematic lot.

EMODnet Coordinators & EMODnet Secretariat

31 December 2021


EMODnet Secretariat to contact the EMODnet Chemistry, Physics and Data Ingestion coordinators to have a meeting with PANGAEA experts

EMODnet Secretariat, Chemistry, Physics & Data Ingestion

31 December 2021

Communication completed, meeting planned for November 2021 (dates to be confirmed)


EMODnet Coordinators and Secretariat to be invited as mentors to the Hack4Oceans

EC DG MARE, EMODnet Coordinators & EMODnet Secretariat

30 October 2021

Meeting Minutes

Day 1, Wednesday 8 September 2021

14:00-17:30: SC Joint Session*

*This Session was open for Members of the EMODnet Technical Working Group (E-TWG) and the EC Marine Knowledge Expert Group (MKEG)

Welcome and Updates (EMODnet Secretariat and DG MARE)

Opening Secretariat intro

Jan-Bart Calewaert (JBC), Head of the EMODnet Secretariat, welcomed all EC Marine Knowledge Expert Group (MKEG) members to the EMODnet Steering Committee (SC) Open Session, which included members from the EMODnet SC, EMODnet Technical Working Group (TWG) and EC MKEG (see Participants list, Annex I). Following an overview of practical arrangements and housekeeping rules for the online meeting, JBC initiated a tour-de-table with short introductions from SC, TWG and MKEG members, and then briefly presented the meeting agenda.

EMODnet and EC Marine Knowledge Expert Group updates (EC, DG MARE)

Zoi Konstantinou (ZK, EC, DG MARE) informed the participants about the successful repatriation of the EMODnet website to the Europa domain, noting that this had taken substantial effort from the EMODnet Secretariat and VLIZ, as well as the continued efforts undertaken by the entire EMODnet-network with respect to the centralisation process. She highlighted that the ongoing process of centralisation of all thematics services on the EMODnet Central Portal was timely considering ongoing EU initiatives Destination Earth, and the Digital Twin of the Ocean, together with the EU Green Deal policy framework. She emphasized that each of these major initiatives require high quality marine data (both satellite-derived and in situ data) and EMODnet’s role in supporting these initiatives was considered essential. Furthermore, she highlighted the DG MARE vision to support EMODnet and to bring the network forward in these actions.

Repatriation: Update on work achieved and future updates EMODnet repatriation

Conor Delaney (CD, EMODnet Secretariat) gave a short overview of the repatriation process and actions taken to facilitate it. He confirmed the repatriated EMODnet website was launched on 19 July 2021 and went from to CD thanked VLIZ and TRUST-IT for their work and highlighted that although the launch took place, continuous efforts are required on the following topics:

  • Privacy statement;
  • An update of the Map viewer;
  • An update to the Products catalogue to a newer version of the GeoNetwork which will make the data products more accessible.

Bart Vanhoorne (BV, VLIZ) elaborated on the preparation taking place before the launch of the website and mentioned they are currently working with VLIZ on an IT security plan.

Next to technical elements, another major achievement involved the move from MailChimp to News Room for the EMODnet monthly News Digest, which was activated for the August 2021 News Digest, as a requirement under the EU repatriation rules.

CD, concluded that the repatriation would be discussed in more detail at the 10th EMODnet Technical Working Group meeting taking place 9-10 September 2021.


Dick Schaap (DS, Maris, EMODnet Bathymetry, Chemistry and Data Ingestion) asked how EMODnet Coordinators could propose updates to content for the EMODnet Central Portal website.

Francis Strobbe (FS, EMODnet Secretariat) replied that currently the best approach is to send updates to the EMODnet Secretariat general e-mail address: secretariatatemodnet [dot] eu (secretariat[at]emodnet[dot]eu) in order to avoid issues with the applicable cookie policies. He added the technical team is currently working on a protocol to guide the Coordinators to update their content accordingly on the new website, to be distributed to Coordinators, when available.

Action 1: Thematic and Data Ingestion updates and edits to the EMODnet Central portal website should be sent to the EMODnet Secretariat general email address: secretariatatemodnet [dot] eu (secretariat[at]emodnet[dot]eu). (EMODnet Coordinators, 31 December 2021, ongoing).

Centralisation: progress, implementation process, next steps (Secretariat, VLIZ) – EMODnet centralisation

Joana Beja (JB, VLIZ, EMODnet Central Portal), gave a brief overview of Central Portal team working on centralisation. First, she presented the centralisation timeline, explaining that the initial request came from both EC, DG MARE and CINEA to make all data, metadata and thematic lot data accessible via the EMODnet Central Portal. She underlined that the timeline for each thematic to centralise its services is staggered across a two-year time period and that once centralised, it had been decided that a six-month transfer period will be implemented before the portals would close permanently. She added that the exact shutdown date of each individual portal website would be determined both with CINEA/ EC, DG MARE and the thematics, when all information had been transferred and this transfer period was complete.

She confirmed that the first portal to be transferred to the Central Portal will be Bathymetry. General progress updates included the decision that the single Central Portal map viewer is based on the EMODnet Bathymetry viewer, currently in development by service provider Bibliomática. Joana noted that meetings were taking place every two weeks with the core centralisation team (EMODnet Secretariat, VLIZ, Bilbomática) to discuss process, and future topics included finalisation of the download function for data.

In addition to the meetings between the Central Portal technical team and Bathymetry, she added that exploratory meetings are hosted every one and a half months with other thematics where potential issues or constraints are being discussed, such as meetings already held with EMODnet Biology and EMODnet Human Activities. She outlined the next steps in the ongoing centralisation process involve:

  • Continuation of meetings with different thematics;
  • Static content centralisation;
  • Upload from EMODnet Biology, Bathymetry and Human Activities products to the ERDAPP server (The ERDAPP server is expected to facilitate the process of downloading data subsets and is being set up by VLIZ);
  • A visualisation tool which will be implemented into the development server.

Q&A: Dick Schaap (DS, Maris, EMODnet Bathymetry) and Thierry Schmitt (SHOM, EMODnet Bathymetry) noted that discussions between EMODnet Bathymetry and the Central Portal team had been good from the start and were progressing well. EMODnet Bathymetry noted the importance of focusing effort on ensuring all data content was made centrally available, and the thematic particularly welcomed the possibility for customised functionalities, and they are now awaiting the proof of concept (both for the viewer and ERDAPP functionalities). Alessandro Pittito (AP, COGEA, EMODnet Human Activities) added that EMODnet Human Activities is currently half way through the discussions which are progressing in a straightforward manner, adding that Bibliomática and the Central Portal technical team are doing excellent work in transferring all functionalities. Fabienne Jacq (FJ, EC, DG DEFIS) added that she considered the centralisation of EMODnet services as a major achievement that would be very impactful for the users of EMODnet. CD concluded that technical details would be discussed in the Technical Working Group meeting on Friday 10 September (morning session), with technical developers from Bibliomática.

Updates from EMODnet 7 Thematics & Data Ingestion (All Coordinators)

EMODnet Bathymetry

EMODnet Biology

EMODnet Chemistry

EMODnet Geology

EMODnet Human Activities

EMODnet Physics

EMODnet Seabed Habitats

EMODnet Data Ingestion

Each EMODnet thematic group provided an overall status update including an update on thematic outputs, cross-thematic and external interactions and the future outlook of their thematic activity. The main points of these presentations summarised below.

EMODnet Bathymetry – Thierry Schmitt (SHOM)

Recent Updates:

  • EMODnet Bathymetry signed a new contract in December 2020;
  • In April 2021 they held a kick off meeting and metadata workshop. Contributors are progressing in populating metadata and especially in migrating the Creative Commons (CC)-By license;
  • Contributors are asked to generate/ sample their bathymetric data and provide them to sea-basin coordinators by the end of 2021 to produce an update to the Digital Terrain Model (DTM).

Cross-thematic collaborations:

  • EMODnet Bathymetry has frequent interactions with EMODnet Seabed Habitats, including for the EMOD-PACE project;
  • A student has worked on the quality layers alongside the Digital Terrain Model (DTM), with work including investigating the countries Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and making a correlation between DTM and marine traffic.

External interactions:

  • Ongoing dialogues include the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO), Seabed 2030 initiative, and Copernicus Marine Service, (including a dialogue on coastal bathymetry mapping and coastal zone DTM), etc.

Future Outlook:

  • Progress to update the Full DTM and High resolution DTM with new data sets;
  • Bathymetry thematic portal migration to the EMODnet Central Portal is ongoing;
  • Upcoming meetings:
  • Meso American-Caribbean Sea marine spatial data infrastructure, 22 September 2021; and
  • Ocean Hackathon, Brest and Europe-wide, 5-7 November 2021.


Fabienne Jacq (FJ, EC, DG DEFIS) encouraged EMODnet Bathymetry to work together with Copernicus Marine Service (CMEMS) and to use CMEMS Sentinel 2 data for any satellite-derived data required for new EMODnet data products, and better organise processing on space data and L3/L4 products between CMEMS and EMODnet

Thierry Schmitt (TS, EMODnet Bathymetry) mentioned he had initiated dialogue with Mercator Ocean International (MOi) in order to get some convergence on the CMEMS/bathymetry work.

EMODnet Biology – Joana Beja (VLIZ)

Recent Updates:

  • EMODnet Biology completed a successful end of phase III in April 2021 (report here) and held the kick-off meeting for Phase IV on 18-19 May 2021 (report here).
  • Currently 1143 datasets are published online;
  • COVID-19 impacts included delays in data submission and the continuation of online meetings.

Cross-thematic collaborations:

  • Meetings between EMODnet Physics, EMODnet Human Activities and the MSFD Technical Group (TG) on Underwater Noise to discuss the assessment framework for this Descriptor 11 of MSFD;
  • EMODnet Biology and Seabed Habitats:
    • Held a dialogue to discuss developing new standards for EMODnet Biology/EurOBIS;
    • Co-designed a public questionnaire to gather feedback for cross lot product development. Post-meeting note: the questionnaire was promoted in the September 2021 EMODnet News Digest, with the questionnaire closing on 8 October 2021.

External interactions:

  • Meeting between EMODnet Biology and PANGEA in order to assess data flows to optimise data ingestion into EMODnet Biology;
  • Meeting with European Seabirds At Sea (ESAS) to seek collaboration on data ingestion;
  • Dialogue with European Horizon 2020 project Advancing Black Sea Research and Innovation to Co-Develop Blue Growth within Resilient Ecosystems (BRIDGE-BS) to provide guidance/ support for Black Sea data ingestion in the EMODnet Biology portal.

Future Outlook:

  • Centralisation process is ongoing for EMODnet Biology;
  • Internal survey amongst EMODnet Biology partners on creating an inventory for citizen science digitisation efforts.

EMODnet Chemistry – Alessandra Giorgetti (OGS)

Recent Updates:

  • Great increase in number of new data sets (CDI’s) almost 70000, including via EuroARGO;
  • Release of the floating micro-litter data collection;
  • Contacted by UNEP-MAP to use EMODnet data for calculation of assessment criteria for nutrients and contaminants.
  • Further revision of SeaDataNet vocabulary tool;
  • Interest by EC Joint Research Centre (JRC) in marine sediment contaminants in order to evaluate the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and zero pollution action plan;
  • Release of new gridded climatologies with new maps focusing on river mouths;

Completed update to the online WebODVservice.

Cross-thematic collaborations:

  • To support environmental management, an example was shown on combining EMODnet data products and Copernicus Marine Service products during the EMODnet Open Conference.

External interactions:

  • Contribution to the SDG 14.3.1 ocean acidification;
  • EMODnet Chemistry will publish a whitepaper on global oxygen levels;
  • Regular interactions with Regional Sea Conventions (RSCs) and EC JRC, e.g., on data harmonisation.

Future Outlook:

  • Phase III will end on 2 October 2021, with Phase IV starting 3 October 2021;
  • Revise and publish EMODnet Chemistry contaminants maps;
  • Complete the floating micro-litter integrated data ‘offer’;
  • Promote EMODnet Chemistry data/data products and WebODV tool to external stakeholders.


Fabienne Jacq (FJ, DG Defis) thanked EMODnet Chemistry for their collaboration with Copernicus Marine Service on the MSFD product portfolio.

David Connor (DC, EC, DG ENV) highlighted the work of EMODnet with the MSFD working group and asked if its outputs were being used in the regional seas. Alessandra Giorgetti (AG, OGS, EMODnet Chemistry) replied that regional data sets were being used, and that there was the potential for more maps to be used.

Kate Larkin (KL, EMODnet Secretariat) referred to the recent IPCC Working Group I 6th Assessment Report Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis, noting the increasing importance of ocean carbon data and indicators and the opportunity to connect EMODnet in situ data into such ocean-climate assessments. AG replied that more interaction would be very welcome.

EMODnet Geology – Henry Vallius (GTK)

Recent Updates:

  • New EMODnet Geology map on coastal type was published in May 2021;
  • The Seabed substrate data product was in final stages of updates to expand coverage e.g., Caspian Sea, and new scales added including scales of 1:1500;

Post meeting note, updates to the seabed substrate data product were published online on 21 September 2021.

Cross-thematic collaborations:

  • Geology, Bathymetry and Seabed Habitats lots held a cross-thematic Jamboree session on 18 June 2021;
  • Discussions are ongoing on availability of data in the Caspian Sea (e.g. with VSEGEI, Russian partner).
  • Russian subcontract data work (conducted in the Caspian Sea) will also be made available for EMODnet bathymetry in next phase.

External interactions:

  • Consultation was held with the European Plate Observing System (EPOS) for creating a normalised and denormalised data model for use in future metadata index contributions starting in Phase IV;
  • EMOD-PACE contribution (coastal erosion analysis WP5, seabed substrates data product contribution for habitats map WP4).

Future Outlook:

  • Next contract will start on 25 September 2021;
  • Focus on new geographical areas e.g. Caribbean Sea and new parameter coastal erosion;
  • Ongoing dialogue towards EMODnet Geology migration to Central Portal;
  • Working on new ways of presenting data (2,5D) visualisation and dynamic legends.

EMODnet Human Activities- Alessandro Pittito (COGEA)

Recent Updates:

  • Received and published three Marine Spatial Plans (MSP) (Äuland Islands, Denmark, Ireland, status 8 September 2021), made available in collaboration with EMODnet Data Ingestion;
  • Desalinisation data set will be published soon;
  • Continuing development of a concept and pilot for a Human Pressures Index;
  • Continued focus on making all thematic data and data products INSPIRE compliant.

Cross-thematic collaborations:

  • Cross-thematic collaboration with EMODnet Physics to improve underwater noise maps with AIS data or vessel density maps.

External interactions:

  • European Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) Data Expert group who established a data model, fully compatible with INSPIRE, amongst others with other initiatives e.g., BASEMAPS – HELCOM, etc;
  • The U.S. National Geospatial Intelligence Agency are using the EMODnet Human Activity method for their vessel density map. There are potential future collaborations for a global density map;

Future outlook:

  • Cooperate with SHOM to facilitate the ingestion of spatial plans from the countries involved in cross-border MSP cooperation activities e.g., SIMNORAT and SIMWESTMED;
  • Continue collaboration with EC JRC on algae, spirulina production facilities;
  • Release of new data sets e.g., desalination data sets, and expanding the number of national MSP plans, when submitted through Data Ingestion.
  • Improve the aquaculture outreach of satellite data.


ZK, (EC, DG MARE) explained that coordination with the Regional Sea Conventions (RSCs) is in the thematic lot’s contracts. She proposed that all the thematic lots should coordinate together if they want to present themselves as one specific actor to interact with the RSC. JBC mentioned the EMODnet Secretariat is ready to facilitate on a need-basis.

JBC referred to the Human Pressure Index and indicated this should be closely monitored, preferably being coordinated with existing initiatives, to not re-invent the wheel. David Connor (DC, DG ENV) highlighted that the development should proceed with caution since many organisations try to implement these indexes each with different outcomes and that the practical context and use of such an Index should be clear. AP agreed and explained the Human Pressure Index is not a contractual obligation for EMODnet Human Activities and will be developed as a pilot, based upon a scientific approach. AP would continue to update the EMODnet SC and EC MKEG on the development of this at upcoming EMODnet SC open sessions.

EMODnet Physics- Patrick Gorringe (SMHI)

Recent Updates:

  • Ongoing work to complete the re organization of datasets in ERDDAP;
  • Several data products received an update i.e. salinity, temperature, etc.

Cross-thematic collaborations:

  • Cross-thematic meetings took place with Data Ingestion and Chemistry to discuss real-time interoperability and Citizen Science oriented actions (including Jamboree 2021);
  • Cross-thematic meetings with Human Activities and Biology on underwater noise from vessels and impacts on marine species;
  • Expert support for EMOD-PACE activities on human activities asset mapping (WP3, WP5).

External collaborations:

  • Global interactions with:
    • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on ERDAPP development;
    • Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) e.g., for increased data from Baltic Sea rivers;
  • Collection of Arctic data: the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SHMI) received funding from COINS (Copernicus Observations In Situ Networking and Sustainability), coordinated by EUMETNET to increase the amount of data from the Arctic into the EMODnet Physics portal, including research cruise datasets between 1998 and 2021;

Future Outlook:

  • Identify and ingest new data sets, focusing on improved data harmonization and access (especially from the Black Sea);
  • Explore the potential to include forecast information to enhance the user experience, working with Copernicus Marine Service;
  • Continue to support activities on platform level (HFR, FB, tide gauge, fishing vessels, etc);
  • Identify new emerging data sources e.g. citizen science.


ZK (EC, DG MARE) asked EMODnet Physics how they saw the forecasting activity developing. Patrick Gorringe (PG, EMODnet Physics) noted this is in very early development phase and PG would welcome further discussion with the Steering Group, and with Copernicus Marine Service.

Fabienne Jacq (FJ, EC, DG DEFIS), noted that for Artic data, Copernicus Marine Service works in close collaboration with an “Ice charting working group”. FJ suggested that EMODnet Physics could have a structured dialogue with Copernicus Marine Service about a) Arctic data and b) future forecasting activity ensuring that we build upon Copernicus Marine Service capability. FJ concluded that, in general, DG DEFIS recommends not to develop forecasting products in EMODNET when this is a core activity of Copernicus marine service to maintain a clear complementarity and identity between the two programmes.

EMODnet Seabed Habitats – Mickaël Vasquez (Ifremer)

Recent Updates:

  • New layers were published under the Composite data products;
  • The interactive map view was updated with several functionality improvements.

Cross-thematic collaborations:

  • Together with EMODnet Biology a standardised approach was developed for submitting habitat observations into EMODnet;
  • Interactions with Geology, particularly regarding seabed substrate data.

External interactions:

  • Recommendations to European Environment Agency (EEA) about EUNIS 2019 Marine Classification;
  • Reaching out to data owners in the Caspian Sea, noting this was not an easy task.

Future developments:

  • An update to the Essential Ocean Variable maps;
  • EUSeamap 2021 (Update of seabed substrate and translation in the new version of marine EUNIS).


JBC asked if VSEGEI - who are already well connected to the EMODnet partnership - could help with data gathering in the Caspian Sea. Helen Lillis (HL, JNCC, EMODnet Seabed Habitats) mentioned the collaboration with VSEGEI is useful and they are trying to find other subcontractors in that area or in general anyone who has access to data. An open invitation was shared from EMODnet Seabed Habitats coordinators to all EMODnet SC, DG MARE/ CINEA colleagues and MKEG Members if they are aware of any organisations linked to data of the Caspian Sea.

Action 2: All to send information of any organisations linked to data of the Caspian Sea to EMODnet Seabed Habitats. (All, 31 December 2021, Ongoing).

EMODnet Data Ingestion Portal – Dick Schaap (MARIS)

Recent Updates:

  • External data providers can submit data via a 2-stage approach. The first stage is to publish the data in the current format, the second stage is about further integration and elaboration (of subsets) into national, European and thematic portals;
  • Increase in data submissions: Most submitted data sets are Physics, followed by Seabed Habitats, Bathymetry and Chemistry;
  • Most data originators (currently 144) are researchers and universities but there’s also a good representation of companies.

Cross-thematic collaborations:

  • Data Ingestion continues to find and provide new data to the thematic portals;
  • For Human Activities, MSP seems to be quite attracted to the service.

External interactions:

  • The Renewable Grid Initiative is working on a data inventory to ingest data later on via EMODnet Data Ingestion;
  • New contacts through REMP project (deep-sea mining) via Seascape Consultancy for ingestion of data. Other contacts were established with SBM offshore (offshore sites, floating production units) and OceanEye (NGO with marine litter data);
  • Coupling with SeaDataNet /SEANOE data citing service (DOI’s).

Future developments:

  • Contract ends 10 October 2021;
  • Action ongoing for publishing remaining submissions where possible;
  • Reporting planned for end November 2021.

EMODnet Conference and Jamboree de-brief and feedback

Kate Larkin (KL, EMODnet Secretariat) provided a summary of Secretariat activities regarding the reporting and follow-up since the EMODnet Open Conference 2021. KL thanked all the SC, TWG and EC MKEG for their varied contributions to the Conference as speakers, panelists, poster producers, facilitators and rapporteurs, providing content for plenary sessions, breakout discussions, poster exhibitions, etc. She explained the Open Conference was considered a success with more than 400 participants registered and that for legacy purposes, the B2match platform and the Virtual Exhibition would remain live until the end of November 2021. She urged participants to re-visit the diverse resources available and noted that the EMODnet Central Portal would also be enhanced in Autumn 2021 with links to key Conference resources as a longer-term legacy. KL tabled the mature draft EMODnet Open Conference Report, noting it contained a summary and recommendations from the full event, together with highlights from the Jamboree open dialogues on Ocean Best Practices, Citizen Science and the European Atlas of the Seas. The professionally designed report would be made available by October 2021 via the EMODnet website.

Francis Strobbe, (FS, EMODnet Secretariat) gave a short de-brief on the EMODnet Jamboree, Ocean Best Practice session (16 June 2021) key messages (see the short summary here) and next steps. During the session, it was recommended that EMODnet could develop a protocol in order to track these practices.

Tim Collart, (TC, EMODnet Secretariat) gave a short de-brief about the EMODnet Jamboree, Citizen Science session (18 June 2021) which contained a very lively discussion and sharing of perspectives on how to involve and support Citizen Science initiatives (see the summary here).

EMODnet online survey and targeted assessment: summary of results - EMODnet Online survey & targeted assessment

Nathalie Tonné (NT, EMODnet Secretariat) presented the main results of both the Online Survey (OS) and Targeted Assessment (TA) conducted by the EMODnet Secretariat in 2021. Both are recurring activities under the EMODnet framework.

Online Survey: This was launched in order to gain insight how the user community uses the EMODnet Central Portal and their appraisal. Highlights included:

  • 21 Questions were completed by 59 respondents;
  • 83% find it easy to scan through the Central Portal;
  • The Map Viewer is the most popular key service;
  • About 2/3 of the respondents assessed the quality of the key services to be good;
  • When users download data, they prefer CSV or NetCDF;
  • Respondents use also other services to source marine data. Yet, over 60% of users noted that they exclusively use EMODnet for their data needs, and they do not integrate EMODnet data and data products with outputs from other data services. This means that there is a large user base that rely on EMODnet for all their marine data and data product needs.


  • Need for even more stable web services;
  • High need for complete metadata (data provenance, data product creation transparency and last edit/update) to further move towards full interoperability of data;
  • Importance of access to high quality visualisation tools.

Graeme Duncan (GD, JNCC) noted that shapefile appears to remain one of the most preferred formats, despite the offer of many other data layer formats.

Dick Schaap (DS, Maris) noted that shapefile is indeed still popular and added that most users completing the EMODnet Online Survey 2021 were users firstly of data products, and then maps and data.

Joana Beja (JB, VLIZ) responded to this anticipating that the demand for using original data is likely to increase when all lots are centralised, giving streamlined access to all data and data products.

Targeted Assessment (TA): The 2021 TA was focused on industry, aiming to gather feedback on EMODnet services from multiple blue economy sectors. The objective was to better understand the industry needs against EMODnet going forward.


  • >20 industry representatives were invited following a mapping exercise to ensure diversity and cross-sector representation;
  • 12 Interviews were conducted (after the respondents completed a questionnaire);
  • Most of them showed moderate motivation to become a data provider (if not already);
  • Metadata was again a crucial element (origin of the raw data behind the products).


  • Suggestions were made to improve the ingestion process:
    • Via uptake of data by users;
    • Tagging of data;
    • Demonstrate added value.
  • Create a visual map showing EMODnet data contributors & partners:
    • Increase visibility;
    • Motivate becoming partner.

Joana Beja (JB, EMODnet Biology) noted the feedback regarding the visual map of the EMOD-network was an interesting outcome as this coincides with an upcoming deliverable for EMODnet Biology to map their network and external connections.

Action 3: Share the presentation of the EMODnet online survey and targeted assessment with EC MKEG and SC so these can be further discussed further in meetings on 9 September 2021 (EMODnet Secretariat, 9 September 2021).

EMODnet Communication: updates on latest videos (Secretariat)

Francis Strobbe (FS, EMODnet Secretariat) explained that in addition to multiple EMODnet videos targeted at various sectors and topics (e.g., Marine Spatial Planning, Aquaculture, etc.) two more videos were in finalization: EMODnet for civil society, and EMODnet for tourism. FS noted these videos would be made available through the EMODnet website under the tab communication. JBC highlighted that he welcomed feedback on the videos or advice on how to disseminate them as well as new ideas for upcoming videos in the future.

Action 4: Feedback on EMODnet videos (footage, content) and help to disseminate videos. (EMODnet Steering Committee, 31 December 2021 and ongoing).

External partnerships and interactions (Secretariat, DG MARE, ALL) – EMODnet EU PartnershipsEMODnet 4 GlobalEMOD-PACE

KL and JBC gave highlights of EMODnet’s external partnerships and collaborations.

In the interest of time, it was decided that two components of agenda 8, namely (i) The EC, Ocean Observing Event, (ii) EMODnet for Society would be discussed at the EMODnet Closed SC session on 9 September (morning).

European partnerships: Copernicus Marine Service & Other

KL presented the key contributions and partnerships that EMODnet has on an EU level. KL highlighted the long-standing collaboration and partnership with Copernicus Marine Service at operational and coordination levels and across multiple EMODnet thematics. She noted that recent collaborations had included a joint meeting on Coastal Issues in 2020, two joint workshops on marine data for aquaculture(North Atlantic, October 2020; Mediterranean and Black Seas, March 2021) organised by EMODnet and the Copernicus Marine Service, in collaboration with the European Aquaculture Technology Platform (EATiP) and the EC DG MARE and DG Defis, and a joint portfolio on EMODnet and CMEMS data and data products relevant to MSFD Descriptors in the Baltic Sea region, published in June 2021.

Next, she highlighted ongoing collaborations with PANGEA to optimize data flows, including automated harvesting of data by EMODnet Physics, a recent meeting with EMODnet Biology and upcoming meeting with EMODnet Chemistry and Data Ingestion in Autumn 2021. KL also noted the concrete interactions with Regional Sea Conventions, highlighting the example of the Black Sea Commission (BSC) who spoke at the EMODnet Open Conference 2021 about the valued MoU between the BSC and EMODnet Chemistry that had led to more national data being ingested into EMODnet from the Black Sea marine pollution database. KL also mentioned a recent meeting on 2 September 2021 where the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Marine Action Plan (MAP) had invited both EMODnet Chemistry and the EMODnet Secretariat to join an initial meeting to plan data requirements for an upcoming Quality Status Report 2023. Opportunities were highlighted for other EMODnet thematics to contribute to this activity.

Global partnerships: EMOD-PACE, IODE, GEOSS & GEO-Blue Planet, UN Ocean Decade

JBC provided some examples of concrete collaborations that EMODnet has with international initiatives such as the the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) of UNESCO, the Group on Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) and its marine coordination activity GEO Blue Planet, Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS) and explained briefly the future outlook with respect to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for sustainable development and Digital Twin of the Ocean (DITTO).

JBC then provided highlights from the EMOD-PACE project, an EU-China project engaging all EMODnet Coordinators and a key example of EMODnet’s regional partnerships beyond Europe. He noted that in the coming 6 months a physical meeting with European partners and the National Marine Data & Information Service (NMDIS) is planned in China and that work is progressing on new data layers and products, whilst some challenges in data interoperability and data sharing remain.

JBC noted that the SC would reconvene for a closed session on 9th September morning, and that the SC could revisit some of the agenda items from the open session, to discuss these in more detail, and to cover agenda points on European Ocean Observing and EMODnet for Society that had not been covered due to time constraints. JBC then thanked all participants and in particular noted the added value of having the EC MKEG joining the SC joint session to hear the latest updates on the diverse EMODnet services. The meeting was then closed, noting that the SC (closed session) would continue on 9 September.

Any other business (AOB) – none.


Post-meeting note: The EMODnet secretariat shared all presentations from the Joint session with all participants directly after the meeting, via email, to inform further discussions.

Day 2, Thursday 9 September 2021

09:30-12:30 EMODnet SC (Closed session)

Welcome & introduction (Jan-Bart Calewaert)

JBC welcomed everybody to the closed session of the 15th EMODnet Steering Committee (SC). He welcomed all SC members, before introducing the agenda, noting that agenda items that could not be covered in the joint session on 8 September due to time constraints would be added to the agenda. He summarised these are discussions on the EC Ocean Observation initiative, EMODnet for Society and external events would be covered in this closed session.

JBC then proposed that the SC could first further discuss some key points made during the joint session on 8 September, namely:

  • EMODnet-Copernicus Marine Service collaborations:

    • EMODnet Bathymetry data products, including the use of satellite-derived bathymetry;

    • EMODnet Physics, proposed outputs related to forecasting;

  • EMODnet Human Activities concept for a Human Pressure Index;

  • EMODnet’s interactions with the Regional Sea Conventions (RSCs) and coordination between different lots.

EMODnet – Copernicus Marine Service collaborations

EMODnet Bathymetry – Copernicus Marine Service

Thierry Schmitt (TS, SHOM, EMODnet Bathymetry) summarised that EMODnet Bathymetry is using both in situ (acoustic measurements from sonar and laser from lidar) and satellite-derived bathymetry data. He added that satellite-derived bathymetry was particularly required to complete in situ and fill in gaps along the coastal area. He referred to a survey launched by Copernicus Marine Service (CMEMS) in summer 2020 about which types of data could be produced from satellite-derived data for bathymetry. He emphasised that EMODnet Bathymetry is willing to engage further with CMEMS, building on existing dialogue where it was agreed that, where possible, Copernicus’ Sentinel-2 bathymetry data would be used for satellite-derived data. He concluded that EMODnet Bathymetry has contacted Angélique Melet from MOi (Mercator Ocean International), to discuss this further. No date has yet been set.

Dick Schaap (DS, Maris, EMODnet Bathymetry) remarked that Bathymetry’s aim is to create the best Digital Terrain Model (DTM) for Europe. For this they use both satellite-derived (including GEBCO) and in situ data. Bathymetry’s partner in this, a spinoff of the German Space Agency, is also engaged in CMEMS.

Post-meeting note: It is noted that satellite-derived bathymetry in GEBCO refers to deep-sea estimation (based on gravity field variation), while satellite derived bathymetry from CMEMS / Sentinel 2 is based on reflectance measurements from multispectral measurements. These are two completely different methodologies, with two types of satellite sensors (GOCE, ultimately Sentinel 3 for the gravimetry field; Sentinel-2 Landsat 8, Pléiades, etc, for the multispectral sensors).

Zoi Konstantinou (ZK, EC, DG MARE) indicated that a further meeting may be needed to further clarify this, building on previous discussions. She reminded participants that both EMODnet and CMEMS are both operational services of the European Commission and this means trying to work together and respecting each other’s mandates. She reiterated that the mandate for EMODnet is in situ (data) and Copernicus is satellites. She noted that DG Defis does not have an issue for EMODnet (Bathymetry) to use satellite data to improve EMODnet products. However EMODnet should – where possible – give preference to using Copernicus satellite data, building upon the current use by EMODnet Bathymetry of Sentinel-2 data. She highlighted that the communication needed to be improved between MOi and EMODnet.

Since Fabienne Jacq (DG Defis) could not attend the meeting on Day 2, ZK highlighted a second point that had come up the day before, namely the capacity of EMODnet Bathymetry to process the full Sentinel-2 satellite data, since this is an activity for space products that may be better done in Copernicus.

TS indicated that in terms of capacity, the partner working with EMODnet Bathymetry has the capacity to process the satellite data. However, EMODnet Bathymetry doesn’t use all Sentinel-2 data as there is first a selection process before extrapolation to obtain the bathymetry.

ZK suggested an extra meeting may be necessary to discuss both of these issues EMODnet take the initiative to arrange this. This was agreed by EMODnet Bathymetry with a view to organizing a further meeting by the end of 2021 between EMODnet Bathymetry, CMEMS and the EC (DG MARE and Defis).

Action 5: Convene a meeting between EMODnet Bathymetry, EC DG DEFIS and Copernicus Marine Service colleagues to discuss the use of Sentinel 2 satellite-derived bathymetry in EMODnet Bathymetry data products (EMODnet Bathymetry and EMODnet Secretariat, 31 December 2021)

EMODnet Physics – Copernicus Marine Service

Patrick Gorringe (PG, SMHI, EMODnet Physics) provided further information on the idea proposed for EMODnet Physics to take forward earlier discussions to bring in a forecasting aspect into EMODnet Physics data products.

It was recognised that Copernicus Marine Service (CMEMS) has forecasting within its core mandate and PG confirmed that any forecasting activity would be a joint activity with CMEMS, with a view to developing a shared product with CMEMS raising visibility for both marine data services.

Zoi Konstantinou (ZK, EC, DG MARE) agreed on principle and noted that a further meeting with EMODnet Physics, CMEMS and the EC (DG MARE and Defis) would be useful to further define the joint activity and a future common product.

Action 6: Convene a meeting between EMODnet Physics and CMEMS to discuss opportunities for a joint activity to produce data products with forecasting in (near) real-time. (EMODnet Physics and EMODnet Secretariat, 31 December 2021).

EMODnet dialogue with Regional Sea Conventions (RSCs)

Following on from discussions on Day 1 it was felt useful to further discuss how to optimise the current dialogue that EMODnet thematics, data ingestion and the Secretariat have with the four Regional Sea Conventions (RSCs) HELCOM (Baltic Sea), OSPAR (Northeast Atlantic Ocean), UNEP-MAP (Mediterranean Sea) and the Black Sea Commission.

Alessandro Pittito (AP, COGEA, EMODnet Human Activities) suggested that since each EMODnet Coordinator already has interactions with the RSCs then these efforts could be better coordinated, and potentially be made more streamlined and efficient, combining efforts and holding joint meetings where necessary.

Zoi Konstantinou (ZK, EC DG MARE) reminded the EMODnet SC that dialogue with the RSCs it is a contractual obligation for all the thematic lots, which cannot be ignored even if a more centralised approach is seen useful.

Juan Carlos Fernández Gomez (JCFG, CINEA) & Lucie Pautet (LP, CINEA) agreed that a common discussion across the different thematic lots with the RSCs, could be good to have. However, they emphasised that each thematic may have different contacts in the RSCs, including experts in specific areas and parameters. They proposed that a meeting between Coordinators to consider the thematic lots expectations, views and future outlook for the collaboration with the RSCs could be useful.

EMODnet Human Activities (AP), Chemistry (AG) and Seabed Habitats (HL) explained how they are currently managing the exchange of information with the RSCs. They underlined that they were often in contact with specific experts beyond the RSC Secretariats which should remain, but they also agreed the dialogue can be time consuming and at times confusing as the relevant contacts aren’t always found, reachable or responding.

EMODnet Bathymetry (TS) added that they have contacts with RSCs through other organisations (e.g., the International Hydrographic Organisation, IHO, etc.).

EMODnet Physics (PG) and Biology (JB) indicated having partners, such as ICES, which are directly involved in the RSCs which helps.

After discussion, all thematic lots agreed they would benefit from a common (all thematic lots) annual (or potentially bi-annual) meeting with the RSCs, in order to present EMODnet in a coordinated manner, which would help to raise the EMODnet visibility and also reduce stakeholder fatigue. It could also be a useful meeting in terms of meeting key contacts across the RSCs and could potentially be of benefit to also invite wider experts, e.g., from the RSC networks and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). It was stressed that should this be taken forward, the coordinated meeting would not replace the necessary dialogue between individual thematics and RSCs and one-on-one meetings between EMODnet thematic, RSC and MSFD experts.

DG MARE and CINEA colleagues expressed interest in hearing actions and recommendations from a coordinated meeting so that these could be discussed towards a more structured dialogue, to identify common areas of interest and joint activity, and to streamline interactions.

This will be taken up at the next (16th) EMODnet Steering Committee meeting in Spring 2022.

KL gave a concrete example of a recent meeting on 2nd September 2021 with UNEP-MAP to plan the Quality Status Report (QSR) 2023, to which EMODnet Chemistry and the EMODnet Secretariat had been invited and attended. AG noted that this was a positive that EMODnet Chemistry was already very well connected to UNEP-MAP and there was strong potential for the use of Chemistry data and data products, particularly those related to pollution and marine litter. It was also highlighted that there was also potential for other thematics to be more involved, particularly Bathymetry, Biology, Seabed Habitats and Human Activities, and potentially more. It was agreed that the Secretariat will circulate further information to the thematic Coordinators, to guage interest and to coordinate further dialogue with UNEP-MAP on this activity.

Action 7: Secretariat to update all Coordinators of recent UNEP-MAP 2023 meeting to highlight potential input and collaboration areas to help facilitate and to link thematics where most relevant. (EMODnet Secretariat; 24 September 2021; Completed).

EMODnet Human Activities – Concept for a Human Pressure Index

A short discussion was held on the concept for a Human Pressures Index, which had been introduced by Alessandro Pittito (AP, COGEA, EMODnet Human Activities) at previous Steering Committee meetings. AP confirmed that this was a concept that was in the EMODnet Human Activities as a concept, and the proposal approach was to develop a pilot activity, in the form of a regional case study / stress test to explore this further.

Zoi Konstantinou (ZK, EC DG MARE) noted that although it is not in the core mandate of EMODnet to produce such applications, it could be interesting to do a case study and see how EMODnet data could be used, as long as the application remains generic, to stimulate further innovation.

Helen Lillis (HL, JNCC, EMODnet Seabed Habitats) noted that the important thing with developing a Human Pressure Index would be to speak to potential users (e.g. RSCs) and define the output based on the customers' requirements.

David Connor (DC, EC DG ENV) expressed that there are many such Indexes available worldwide, but often there can be an issue with using it effectively at regional or local levels. He also recommended that any such Index would need to have a sound scientific base to be useful.

EMODnet Human Activities will continue to develop the concept and keep the EMODnet SC and EC MKEG updated on progress (ongoing at each EMODnet SC, see EMODnet 14th SC Action 8 below).

Agenda item 2. Updates from DG MARE (Zoi Konstantinou) was addressed in agenda item 5.

General updates (EMODnet Secretariat)

List of actions from previous meetings

Kate Larkin (KL, EMODnet Secretariat) ran through Actions from the last Steering Committee (document 3). Most actions were completed, with the following ongoing actions:

  • 14th SC Action 2: Calendar of events is an ongoing action and the full Steering Committee are invited to continue sending updates on internal EMODnet meetings and relevant external events to the EMODnet Secretariat (see events list to end of 2021, document 4);
  • 14th SC Action 3: Use Cases is an ongoing action. In the past six months all existing use cases have been harmonised and centralised on the EMODnet Central Portal by the Secretariat. EMODnet Coordinators are requested to continue sending ideas of use cases to the Secretariat and to aim for more diversity in thematics, users from all sectors, including potential joint use cases with Copernicus Marine Service, etc;
  • 14th SC Action 4: Launching of a dashboard on the Central Portal: This is part of the ongoing repatriation process with the intention for VLIZ to host the dashboard on their servers in the near future;
  • 14th SC Action 6: Table of EMODnet contracts: This was shared in the Centralisation presentation on day 1 of the EMODnet 15th SC on 8 September 2021
  • 14th SC Action 8: Human Pressures Index is an ongoing development by EMODnet Human Activities who will keep the EMODnet SC and EC MKEG updated on progress at EMODnet SC meetings;
  • 14th SC Action 10: Meetings between EMODnet and Copernicus Marine Service to discuss the contribution of each data service to each others integrated data products. Further meetings will be organised on the topics of satellite-derived bathymetry and an ocean physics forecasting data product.


AP asked what the process for use cases should be considering the ongoing centralisation process.

JBC responded that the Secretariat encourages all thematics to continue identifying use cases and to send these to the Secretariat find interesting ones. Will probably be a transition in the future with centralisation.

AP also asked where there would be further discussions on the EMODnet progress indicators and on tracking users for each thematic.

CD confirmed this would be in the 10th Technical Working Group (TWG) starting on 9 September afternoon. He added it was important that the thematics discuss this collectively with there Central Portal team to avoid any new developments of resources being committed to user tracking services that could not be used due to repatriation and/or once the thematic is centralised.

AG responded regarding a form produced by EMODnet Chemistry. She noted that it would be good for all thematics to further align with the Central Portal to see possibilities for a harmonised approach to tracking users as currently the user doesn’t have the same experience depending on which portal (s)he uses.

JBC agreed on the aligned approach and noted this would be further discussed at the upcoming TWG. He added that the Secretariat proposes indicators in dialogue with community. Is a continuous process with a trade-off between removing barriers and having relevant information to give to commission and the providers.

ZK noted that moving the EMODnet Central Portal under the Europa domain changes the way that information can be collected on users. She added it is important to know how the data is going to be used and to at least collect the data in a voluntary way.

Key updates on work plan and partnerships

Updates on the date of thematic lot contract dates and also extension for secretariat until end of December 2021. Most work will be focused on centralisation. In the meanwhile, won’t be as hyperactive as usual.

External partnerships and interactions (Secretariat, DG MARE, ALL) (continued from 8 September)

EMODnet for society – EU4OCean

Nathalie Van Isacker (NVI, EMODnet Secretariat) presented how the European Atlas of the Seas, a core EMODnet Secretariat activity, contributes to an ongoing European Ocean Literacy initiative, EU4Ocean. She also explained an ongoing campaign, #MakeEUBlue, with the aim to get people better connected to the ocean. She noted that many EU4Ocean member organisations and wider stakeholders are making pledges and she referred to the pledge from the European Atlas of the Seas. She noted that the EMODnet Secretariat were planning a pledge and invited all EMODnet Coordinators to do the same in the coming weeks, noting these could be done as an EMODnet Coordinator/partner and also as an individual.

ZK underlined that it would be good to have pledges from all thematic lots, to show a united approach, or none. She also noted that although EMODnet is very well known in the community of marine sciences, wider society are far less aware of EMODnet and also not aware that marine data is the base for marine knowledge. She concluded this is opportunity and appropriate time to reach outside of our community, and to show the value of EMODnet and make it more accessible. She encouraged all EMODnet Coordinators to make a pledge.

There were no objections, so two actions were included as a concrete follow up.

Action 8: Secretariat will provide their pledge (“#MakeEUBlue”) to be used for inspiration for the thematic lots. (EMODnet Secretariat, 30 October 2021).

Action 9: All thematic lots are invited to make a pledge for “#MakeEUBlue” (EMODnet Coordinators, 31 December 2021).

European Ocean Observing: Update on EC Consultation, EC Ocean Observation event and future developments

ZK gave an update on the EC Ocean Observation - Sharing Responsibility initiative, which aims to achieve a common EU approach for measuring once and using the data for many purposes, with enhanced coordination of ocean observation capability at national, regional and European levels. She noted that following stakeholder consultation in Autumn 2020 and Spring 2021, the results and recommendations are currently being assessed by the EC with results likely in Spring 2022. Meeting in June yielded some interesting results on the recommendations side. Input in this, from the coordinators, is welcome. Will benefit EMODnet in great amount. Will give opportunity to extend the use of standards. At the moment, all of this is conceptual.

KL referred to EMODnet 15th SC document 5 that presents an overview of EMODnet Secretariat activities related to ocean observation between May – September 2021. She then tabled the mature draft report of the EC Ocean Observation event on 18 June 2021, noting that the event had been a joint activity in collaboration with EMB, EuroGOOS and Copernicus Marine Service and with active input from Marine Research Infrastructures EMBRC, LifeWatch and EMSO. She noted that the event had focused on two topics, namely: Ocean Observing Technology and Ocean Observing Gaps and Requirements. In the latter, the EMODnet Sea-basin Checkpoints were presented at the event by Quillon Harpham and that the methodology was well regarded with suggestions to repeat the exercise and to integrate with other methods for assessing data adequacy. Key Community Recommendations from the stakeholder presentations, panel dialogues and breakout discussions were being produced with a view to publishing a full report and summary Recommendations document in October 2021.

PG noted that in the context of the European Ocean Observing System (EOOS), EMODnet Physics had confirmed interest to join a task team to discuss the scope and business case for a European dashboard to monitor the performance of ocean observing infrastructure and potentially data, in collaboration with OceanOPS.

KL then mentioned the G7 Future of Seas and Oceans Initiative had recently (in August 2021) released a FSOI Working Group Meeting 2021 summary report. She noted that there were clear commonalities and alignment with the EC Ocean Observation initiative that that the Secretariat were tracking it’s development and potential input from EMODnet as part of the Secretariat workplan, inviting SC members to contact the Secretariat to discuss this further.

DG MARE & CINEA reflections on future EMODnet developments, partnerships, etc

ZK explained that the vision of EC DG MARE and CINEA is to continue the good work in EMODnet and strengthen network as much as possible. In the coming years she noted there would be opportunities to do this and to take forward the solid base that exists now, to a more advanced level of aggregating and data sharing.

JCFG added that from a Contractor point of view, the EMODnet lots are clearly providing an operational service and that the EMODnet Secretariat current workplan would now run until end December. He noted that a call for tender for the future Secretariat was out and that the call for tender for the next phase of Data Ingestion had just been released.

External events: Recent and upcoming to end of 2021

KL referred to EMODnet 15th SC document 4 which lists external events. She summarised some of the key meetings attended between April and September 2021 and some upcoming meetings up until the end of calendar year 2021. She then opened the floor for EMODnet Coordinators and the SC to provide feedback on meetings they had attended and upcoming meetings of interest.

PG referred to the International Conference on Ocean Data organised by the International Ocean Data and Information Exchange (IODE) of UNESCO in February 2022, noting that the deadline for abstracts is end October 2021.

JBC noted this is an important event and a good opportunity to raise visibility of EMODnet to global stakeholders. He proposed that EMODnet has a concerted participation from each thematic lot, data ingestion and the Secretariat. He noted the EMODnet Secretariat would follow up further with all and would include this information in the EMODnet News Digest at the end of September 2021.

ZK referred to Hack4Oceans, an upcoming event on 20-21 October 2021 organised by EC DG MARE. She noted the event is more a social innovation hackathon, aiming to engage younger people in the work done in DG MARE. Participants will include youth (university degree/masters level students) and marine/maritime professionals, to bring students in contact with blue economy stakeholders, researchers, etc. She added that EC DG MARE did not expect formal engagement form EMODnet but that EC DG MARE would liase with the Secretariat and coordinators to see possibilities for providing mentoring through the online sessions.

KL referred to the interactions between EMODnet and PANGAEA, noting that there had been some meetings between EMODnet thematics, data ingestion, the Secretariat and PANGAEA, to look at ways to optimise data flow from PANGAEA to EMODnet, building on the operational flows already established with EMODnet Physics and a recent meeting with EMODnet Biology. She noted that further meetings were planned in Autumn 2021, including with EMODnet Chemistry.

Post-meeting note: Communication completed, meeting planned for November 2021 (dates to be confirmed).

Action 10: Steering Committee (SC) to provide information on upcoming events to the Secretariat for the online calendar. (EMODnet Steering Committee, 31 December 2021)

Action 11: Have a concerted participation to the “IODE Conference 2022” including participation of each thematic lot (EMODnet Coordinators & EMODnet Secretariat, 31 December 2021)

Action 12: EMODnet Secretariat to contact the EMODnet Chemistry, Physics ad Data Ingestion coordinators to have a meeting with PANGAEA experts. (EMODnet Secretariat, Chemistry, Physics & Data Ingestion, 31 December 2021)

Action 13: EMODnet Coordinators and Secretariat will be sent further information on Hack4Oceans (20-21 October 2021) with the possibility to be invited as mentors. (EMODnet Secretariat to follow up with EC DG MARE, 15 October 2021).

Next Steering Committee Meeting: format, date and location (Secretariat & All)

It was noted that due to the uncertainty surrounding the ongoing Covid-19 situation and the new tender of the Secretariat it was not possible to fix a date and location for the next meeting. JBC noted it was most likely to be a physical meeting in Spring 2022 and that the Secretariat would be in contact by early 2022 to finalise this in coordination with the EMODnet SC.

Summary of actions and wrap up (EMODnet Secretariat, DG MARE)

JBC concluded the meeting noting that minutes and actions would be provided by Secretariat and communicated to SC members for review, then posted on the EC Maritime Forum.

Any other business (AOB)

It was noted that since the last EMODnet Steering Committee that EC DG MARE colleague Iain Shepherd had retired and was now a senior advisor to the EC DG MARE. The EMODnet SC recognised Iain’s commitment and vision for EMODnet and marine knowledge over the years.


Annex I: List of Participants

EMODnet Steering Committee and Technical Working Group

EMODnet Thematic portal




Thierry Schmitt

SHOM, France

Dick Schaap

MARIS, The Netherlands

Corine Lochet

SHOM, France

Gaël Morvan

SHOM, France


Henry Vallius

GTK, Finland

Bjarni Pjetursson*

GEUS, Finland

Seabed Habitats

Mickäel Vasquez

Ifremer, France

Helen Lillis


Graeme Duncan*



Alessandra Giorgetti

OGS, Italy

Menashé Eliezer*

OGS, Italy

Erik Geletti*

OGS, Italy


Joana Beja

VLIZ, Belgium


Patrick Gorringe

SMHI, Sweden

Marco Alba*

ETT, Italy

Antonio Novellino**

ETT Italy

Human Activities

Alessandro Pititto

COGEA, Italy

Luigi Falco*

COGEA, Italy

Data Ingestion

Dick Schaap

MARIS, The Netherlands

Sissy Iona

HCMR, Greece

Central Portal

Joana Beja

VLIZ, Belgium

Frederic Leclercq

VLIZ, Belgium

Bart Vanhoorne

VLIZ, Belgium


Clara Becares*

Bilbomática, Spain

Natalia Orio Moreno*

Bilbomática, Spain

EMODnet Secretariat

Jan-Bart Calewaert

EMODnet Secretariat

Kate Larkin

EMODnet Secretariat

Francis Strobbe

EMODnet Secretariat

Maxime Depoorter

EMODnet Secretariat

Conor Delaney

EMODnet Secretariat

Tim Collart

EMODnet Secretariat

Nathalie Tonné

EMODnet Secretariat

Julie Auerbach

EMODnet Secretariat

Cécile Nys

EMODnet Secretariat


Iain Shepherd


Zoi Konstantinou


Grigore Rischitor


Carlos Cerezo

Dg Mare A1


Juan Carlos Fernández Gomez


Lucie Pautet


Fabrice Pourceau



Fabienne Jacq*



Nicolas Segebarth**



David Connor


*Present only in EMODnet SC Joint Session with SC, TWG and EC MKEG

All other participants were present in both EMODnet SC Joint Session and Closed Session

** Apologies

MKEG members

*Present only in the SC Joint Session (Wednesday 8 September 2021 afternoon)

** Present only in MKEG closed session (Thursday 9 September 2021 afternoon)



Nicolaus Ernst Erhard Manuel***

Cefas, UK

Liliana Rusu***

"Dunarea de Jos" University of Galati

Katarzyna Chojnacka***

Wroclaw university of Science and Technology

Gerben J De Boer**

Van Oord Dredging and Marine Contractors B.V.

Ana Martos Barba *

Iberdrola Engineering and Construction

Fiona Buckley***

Engie lab LABORELEC*

Julie Macnamara**

International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP)

Toste Tanhua**

GEOMAR Helmholtz centre for Ocean Research Kiel

Quillon Harpham***

HR Wallingford, UK

Anagnopoulos Nikolaos*


*Present only in the SC Joint Session (Wednesday 8 September 2021 afternoon)

** Present only in MKEG closed session (Thursday 9 September 2021 afternoon)

***Present in both sessions