Date: from 14:00 on Wednesday 9 December until 17:00 on Thursday 10 December 2015
Location: Brussels, DG MARE, Rue Joseph II 79/99 - MARE ROOM J99 00/53
MeetingChairs: Iain Shepherd / Jan-Bart Calewaert (beginning)
Go to Meeting Agenda
List of Actions:
All thematic lots
All thematic lots
All thematic lots to VLIZ
Francisco Souza-Dias and Secretariat
Participants: Thematic lots
Lot 1 – Bathymetry
Dick Schaap (MARIS, The Netherlands, coordinator)
Lot 2 – Geology
Lot 3 – Seabed Habitats
Jacques Populus (IFREMER, France, coordinator)
Lot 4 – Chemistry
Alessandra Giorgetti (OGS, Italy, coordinator)
Lot 5 – Biology
Francisco Souza Dias (VLIZ, Belgium)
Lot 6 – Physics
Antonio Novellino (ETT, Italy, coordinator)
Patrick Gorringe (EuroGOOS, Belgium)
Lot 7 – Human activities
Alessandro Pititto (COGEA, Italy, coordinator)
Lot 8 – Coastal Mapping
Gaël Morvan (SHOM, France, coordinator)
Participants: Sea Basin Checkpoints
Lot 1 – North Sea
Marie Pendle (HR Wallingford, UK)
Lot 2 – Mediterranean
Giuseppe Manzella (ETT, Italy)
New lot – Baltic Sea
Jun She (DMI, Denmark)
New lot – Black Sea
Atanas Palazov (Institute of Oceanology, Bulgaria)
|New lot - Atlantic||Jacques Populus (Ifremer, France)|
Apologies from Alan Stevenson (Geology), Nadia Pinardi (Mediterranean Checkpoint) and Belinda Kater (Arctic Checkpoint).
Day 1 – Wednesday 9 December 2015 – Afternoon 14:00-18:00
Agenda item 1: Welcome and adoption of agenda
The meeting agenda was adopted with a few minor adjustments; Jan-Bart Calewaert took over as Chair from Iain Shepherd for the first part of the meeting and agenda items 3 and 4 were switched to accommodate for this.
Agenda item 2: Status update of actions from previous meeting and short EMODnet progress update
Jan-Bart Calewaert (EMODnet Secretariat) updated the SC on the status of the actions agreed at the 4th SC meeting (minutes of this meeting are available here). Only those actions which had not yet been addressed or those which led to a wider discussion are considered below.
4th SC Meeting Action 5: Develop and circulate a new version of the document illustrating EMODnet in the marine data landscape
This is not yet complete and may be something that requires involvement of parties outside the Secretariat.
4th SC Meeting Action 10: Liaise with the CISE project coordinators to consider how EMODnet can contribute and report back to SC
Nadia Pinardi had offered to secure this link but could not join this meeting to provide feedback.
4th SC Meeting Action 11. Request that all EMODnet partners include the EMODnet logo and link to EMODnet thematic portals on their web pages and assess success rate
All portals have requested partners to add the EMODnet logo and link to the central portal but it is not clear if this was done. This is important because needs greater visibility and partners are potentially important ambassadors. Also for some stakeholders it is not always clear which organisations are partner in EMODnet which may result in missed opportunities to develop synergies with other initiatives.
4th SC Meeting Action 14: Include a disclaimer to comply with the Cookie Directive
The Secretariat noted that all portals with the exception of Human Activities were displaying this. Alessandro Pititto clarified that this disclaimer was only an obligation for certain activities and was not relevant to their portal.
Secretariat will develop a standard text which portal leaders can send to their partners encouraging them to display the EMODnet logo somewhere on their websites e.g. links page etc.
Agenda item 4: External Developments and Interactions
Follow-up on EMODnet-INSPIRE interactions and workshop (7-8 December 2015)
An action from the 4th Steering Committee meeting was the development of a white paper on how to achieve better alignment between INSPIRE and EMODnet through the development of a joint roadmap. An information paper was developed and presented to WG DIKE who suggested some actions, one of which was to organise a joint technical workshop. The workshop was held on 7 and 8 December in Brussels and several EMODnet coordinators and partners participated.
Dick Schaap provided a brief overview of the workshop, saying that it had been a useful and productive meeting. EMODnet now knows the relevant technical people to contact and an online forum is available for queries and discussion. Each portal should make a list of services and products that should be INSPIRE compliant. It was noted that it will be less straightforward for coordinators to deal with INSPIRE compliance for services or products which originated elsewhere.
It was agreed that dialogue with INSPIRE should proceed at two levels. The first at a higher, strategic, overview level; to include Jan-Bart Calewaert, Iain shepherd and Keiran Millard and the second at an operational and technical level to include the relevant members of the Secretariat and portals. In terms of the road map there is a need to identify which services and products are most important to be INSPIRE compliant. It is relatively easy for services to be INSPIRE compliant (there is a simple validation process) but more difficult with products and data. It was suggested that portals should try to achieve INSPIRE compliance for one data model to establish the degree of effort that is required and bring the conclusions to Iain Shepherd to consider how to move forward from there.
Follow-up on EMODnet-MSFD coordination meeting (7-8 December 2015)
Jan-Bart Calewaert provided a brief overview on the 3rd EMODnet-MSFD coordination meeting. He said that there is still a lack of clarity on data-flows and this creates confusion and must be addressed. The SC were asked for their views on the fact that OSPAR experts noted data-gaps in certain portals where contracting countries do not have partners in the relevant lot and questioned whether there may be less incentive on these countries to contribute data. In some cases, for example, human activities who do not have partners as providers this was less relevant but most coordinators agreed that there was a need to incentivise non-partners to deliver data through providing publicity for the institutes as well as highlighting the additional benefits to be gained from providing data. It was also pointed out that this type of agreement can also be formalised and given more weight by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). In the context of encouraging data providers, Marie Pendle highlighted a recent publication by the UK government with useful recommendations.
EMODnet and other major initiatives and developments (EOOS, Copernicus, Fisheries, RSC,…)
Patrick Gorringe provided a brief update on the state-of-play of the development of a European Ocean Observing System (EOOS). Whilst there was not yet clarity as to how it would be coordinated, EuroGOOS and the European Marine Board had organised a brainstorming workshop in spring. Current plans were to set up a web portal, appoint a steering group and establish an EOOS open forum for discussion. Jan-Bart Calewaert said it was important that EMODnet steering committee were kept informed on this because a future EOOS would be intrinsically linked to EMODnet.
Prior to the SC meeting, Jan-Bart Calewaert had been invited to present EMODnet at the 5th Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) Stakeholder Conference in Brussels (7 December 2015). He noted that there was now a European Maritime Spatial Planning Directive (MSPD): Member States were required to translate this directive in national law in 2016 and would be required to submit their marine spatial plans no later than 2021. EMODnet had a significant role to play in this process and for this reason the SC considered it would be useful to invite someone from DGMARE provide information on MSP at the next steering committee meeting.
Antonio Novellino and Patrick Gorringe provided an update on EMODnet-Copernicus/CMEMS interactions. A joint meeting took place on 25-26 November in Toulouse. The meeting had been very productive. It was useful in the first instance to have the meeting between EMODnet Physics and CMEMS, however it should be stressed that this was the first of a series of meetings. The next meeting will include SeaDataNet and future meetings will extend to include other EMODnet lots because there is interest in them from CMEMS. A positive outcome of this collaboration is a new sea ice product having recently been made available in EMODnet physics. This collaboration represents a win:win with EMODnet physics bringing CMEMS products to a wider audience.
Circulate a list of names/email addresses of contact points for future interaction with the INSPIRE technical group
Provide a list of most relevant products and services to implement INSPIRE interoperability specifications with them
Validate the mapping initiated by Andrej Abramovic (INSPIRE workshop instructor) assigning a (1) INSPIRE theme and (2) a type of spatial object to each EMODnet products.
Keep EMODnet SC informed about development of EOOS
Invite DG MARE Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) representative at the next EMODnet SC meeting to provide more information about the MSP Directive and options for EMODnet to contribute
Day 1 – Wednesday 9 December 2015 – Afternoon 14:00-18:00
Agenda item 3: Updates and follow-up from EMODnet Conference and Jamboree (October 2015)
Jan-Bart Calewaert provided feedback on the EMODnet Open Conference and acknowledged the great support provided by VLIZ and EMODnet coordinators. The Secretariat had prepared a draft report compiling the speakers comments and feedback from the break-out sessions. This will be finalized and made publicly available early next year. In a brief discussion regarding some of the main outcomes, one of which was how to encourage an open-access data culture the Secretariat agreed to compile a list of arguments why data should be made open access and make this available on the central portal. Jan-Bart Calewaert also highlighted comments made at the MSFD meeting regarding contributing data to EMODnet. Each portal must provide clear and simple instructions on how to contribute data to their portal and these must be very visible: EMODnet Biology has a ‘contribute’ button on their banner, linking to very clear information on how to contribute and this could be instated by other portals.
OSPAR suggested that it might be useful to carry-out a wider evaluation of the EMODnet Conference by obtaining feedback from all the stakeholders, possibly via a brief online survey to all participants. OSPAR insisted on the importance of engaging participants and letting them know that their contributions had been taken into account. In order to capitalise on the momentum of the Conference, EMODnet could consider forming a group of ‘enthusiastic stakeholders’ as EMODnet champions / ambassadors / promotors.
In terms of how to follow-up on the feedback from the break-out sessions, Jan-Bart Calewaert proposed that the Secretariat compile a list of priority points which could and should be addressed for the Steering Committees consideration. Feedback on how these would be addressed could be provided back to Conference participants / contributors. The impact of these ‘actions’ should be monitored over time.
There was a brief discussion about whether this Conference should be repeated again. One option was to organise something at the Checkpoint meeting in two years’ time.
The Secretariat will compile a list of the arguments for why data should be made open access and make this available on the central portal and which are the potential benefits for contributing institutions in terms of visibility etc.
The Secretariat will propose a common text so that all thematic portals provide clearly visible instructions for potential data contributors on their landing page
Secretariat will compile the priority points from the break-out sessions for the consideration of the SC which could / should be addressed by EMODnet
Update on EMODnet Involvement in RTD projects
Steering Committee members were invited to provide brief updates on any RTD projects they were involved in. From the Secretariat, Belén Martín Míguez provided a brief update on the AtlantOS project, which several of the steering committee were also involved in. Oonagh McMeel introduced the H2020 COLUMBUS project. A discussion followed on how to communicate participation of EMODnet partner organisations in external project in connection with their role and responsibilities in EMODnet such as the Secretariat and thematic lot coordinators. Whilst it was recognised that the involvement of EMODnet partner organisations in these projects could bring greater visibility to EMODnet and forge links with end-users, it was agreed that it should always be clearly communicated that the actual partner is the legal entity and not the EMODnet or other network function (e.g. EMODnet Secretariat or technical coordinator of EMODnet Chemistry or EMODnet Biology).
Agenda item 5: Updates and messages from running EMODnet sea-basin Checkpoints.
Each of the Checkpoint coordinators provided a brief update.
Marie Pendle provided some feedback on the joint Checkpoint meeting which took place in early September at HR Wallingford. The summary report is available here. It provided an interesting opportunity for the new Checkpoints to see how the existing North sea and Mediterranean Sea Checkpoints have approached the challenges. Whilst both Checkpoints are standards-based and undertaking the same set of challenges, they have approached the projects in a different way. A structured report template was proposed and will be developed, in order to facilitate communicating the work of these Checkpoints to different target audiences. Finally the distinction between the description of data in terms of its ‘fitness for use’ or ‘fitness for purpose’ was highlighted. A definition should be included for consistency.
It was agreed that in order to avoid stakeholder fatigue a joint Checkpoints Stakeholder Workshop will be held late 2016 – provisional dates were discussed for October 2016 in Brussels. Ángel Borja noted that the end of Conference of the Devotes project will take place in Brussels on 17-19 October. The Secretariat will initiate a doodle poll for Checkpoint meetings.
Common challenges amongst the Checkpoints were access to fisheries data (VMS and AIS). The Baltic Sea Checkpoint said that they were also finding it difficult to get data from wind farms. Iain Shepherd confirmed that they were trying to deal with this but it was very difficult because the data belongs to the Members States.
Giuseppe Manzella provided an overview of the progress of the Mediterranean Sea Checkpoint.
Jacques Populus explained that the Atlantic Checkpoint had started three months earlier and queried delay in relation to the contract. Jan-Bart Calewaert clarified that this was an issue for EASME. The Secretariat deals with all practical, coordination and operational issues, whilst EASME had responsibility for all contractual issues.
For the Baltic Sea Checkpoint, Jun-She informed that the partners had their kick-off in early October. They will define their descriptors and indicators following the example of the Mediterranean Checkpoint, but will probably need extra indexes. Partners were currently working on a literature review and they might deliver a draft report before the end of the year.
Atanas Palazov said the Black Sea Checkpoint had started in September and that some subcontracts still had to be signed. They were currently working on a literature review and the website was being prepared for publishing.
Iain Shepherd asked the coordinators of the Checkpoints about the most difficult challenge. They agreed that the wind farm challenge was particularly hard because you needed many different types of data. The difficulties to get access to data on fisheries were mentioned again.
Jan-Bart Calewaert provided apologies from Belinda Kater (Arctic Checkpoint) and asked if the current level of interaction was sufficient for all the Checkpoint coordinators, i.e. to meet at Steering Committee meetings. All agreed.
Marie Pendle will send the relevant documents (report template structure and terminology clarification document) to the Secretariat.
Circulate a doodle for join Checkpoint Stakeholder Meeting and Conference in October 2016
Day 2 – Thursday 10 December 9.00 – 17.30
Agenda item 6: Updates from the Coastal Mapping project
Gaël Morvan provided an overview of the progress of Coastal Mapping project which began in July 2015. He noted that one partner (Spanish Hydrographical office) had withdrawn due to a change in their data policy. They already held a number of meetings and had opened a forum to share documents which is already very active. The portal will be launched on 23rd December. He explained the difficulties related to the lack of consistency of vertical datums amongst countries and some discussion followed as whether there was an independent measure to assess this. In any case, he clarified that the objective was not to solve the problem, but to describe its current state.
Jacques Populus highlighted that complete coverage of water quality would be important for the choice of optics or acoustics. Also the inventory of needs would be important but said this will probably have to be adapted based on water quality or be based on human needs (e.g. depth).
Gaël Morvan said they were considering two levels of needs 1) the best way to do the survey and 2) regional needs for management.
Jan-Bart Calewaert asked if the Secretariat could have a preview of the internet portal. Gaël Morvan said they would be open to partners for improvements on 18th December which gave them 6 days for trouble shooting before it went live. The Secretariat would be sent the link at that time.
Jan-Bart Calewaert clarified the terminology for interactions: the info-page for the coastal mapping portal which would be built into the central portal will have a button, ‘access to portal’ and this would link to the landing page of the coastal mapping portal.
Agenda item 7: Updates from the technical working group meeting
Francisco Souza-Dias provided an update on the outcomes of the meeting of the technical group at the end of the Jamboree (23 October 2015, Oostende) which reviewed the status of the query tool and its current functionality.
Jan-Bart Calewaert asked what was the timeline for the query tool. Francisco Souza-Dias said that they were working to align the technical approach. VLIZ would make this decision and then the portals would adapt to it and this would probably take several months. To advance, all thematic portals need to inform VLIZ what products they can and would like to make available via the central portal.
Updates on single sign-on
Antonio Novellino provided an update on the progress towards developing a single sign-on for all EMODnet portals.
Iain Shepherd said that currently most portals have no sign-in requirements however the European Commission needs some information on the usage (user and application types) in order to justify EMODnet. This does not need to be elaborate information but it would be useful if all portals could adopt a consistent approach.
Alessandro Pititto said that the Human Activities portal has a sign-in procedure for downloading, with three fields: name of organisation, country and sector, but only the ‘sector’ field was mandatory.
Jan-Bart Calewaert clarified that there were two main issues: (i) the EC requires user-statistics and (ii) underlying systems / data providers have more complicated authentication systems which may require individual email addresses and more detailed information. The latter could be addressed a the single sign-on system. He suggested that EMODnet develops one standard way to obtain information when users wish to download data or products based on the Human Activities example and where there is a need for a single sign-on then EMODnet Physics approach can be used. Iain Shepherd said it would be useful if four categories of users were considered: private sector, public sector, science and civil society. Jan-Bart Calewaert said that they had received some very good information on users from seabed habitats in the past but it may be difficult to obtain this level of detail from all activities. It was agreed that the Secretariat will build on the example of human activities and send this around the steering committee.
Antonio Novellino explained that Mercator Ocean for CMEMS used a sign in to obtain more information on the client but also to promote products. The system is also linked to access to the service desk which requires email address and EMODnet could consider this approach when developing its own helpdesk(s).
List of priority issues and actions planned to address them.
Emily Corcoran noted that the work VLIZ were doing in the framework of EMODnet Technical Group as regards interoperability was very important and potentially very useful to organisations such as OSPAR and asked if the lessons learned and guidelines could be made available.
Alessandra Giorgetti stated that some users had trouble reaching the right people from the thematic portals. Jan-Bart Calewaert explained that the Central Portal had clear links to all the thematic portals and it was up to the portals to make information regarding who to contact clearly available.
All thematic lots must contact VLIZ and detail the products which they would like to make available via the central portal query tool.
Secretariat will build on the example of Human Activities and make a proposal to the SC a regards the collection of information from users downloading data.
Francisco Souza-Dias will make the information / guidelines stemming from the EMODnet Technical Working Group available on the central portal and the Secretariat will send out an alert when this happens
Agenda item 8: Update from the thematic lots on specific issues of concern
Dick Schaap indicated that they are interacting with the new Coastal Mapping consortia and trying to accommodate the requests of Seabed Habitats. The greatest shortage of surveys was in the coastal zones and in the Southern Mediterranean. Jacques Populus asked how often they released new products and if this was enough for those developing hydrodynamic models. Dick Schaap indicated that modellers often preferred working with older, smoother versions of the maps which were more suited for their purposes.
The Geology thematic lot could not attend the SC meeting. Iain Shepherd said he had received the Geology annual interim report. He indicated that the main issue related to coastal erosion as there is very little data available on an EU or on a national scale. There is a need to know which coastlines are extending and which are receding for management purposes but there is not enough data available. Marie Pendle said there was some data available in a narrative format but not as data and she queried whether something could be done via the COLUMBUS project.
Emily Corcoran showed interest in Geology products in relation to MSFD descriptor 6 (sea floor integrity). She would provide contact details to the Secretariat.
Iain Shepherd noted that EMODnet Geology portal was not as user friendly as other portals.
The coordinator, Jacques Populus, indicated the need for more survey maps and highlighted that they were working to incorporate all maps of interest, even very local maps. Guidance on submission was available to providers.
Seabed Habitats is working closely with Bathymetry and Geology to better assess the confidence levels of their predicted maps. The consortium is also collaborating with EMODnet Physics to improve the physical data for their predictions.
EMODnet Biology collates information on individual with species but to move from species to habitats is a huge step. To advance, there is a need for an EU benthic survey. Biology and Seabed Habitats will have a joint meeting in March and develop a project proposal for DGMARE by June. After a question from Jan-Bart Calewaert, Jacques Populus confirmed that this meeting could be open to external interested stakeholders.
According to Marie Pendle, while there may data indicating that a species was present in a particular area, to assess connectivity of marine protected areas there was often a lack of information on species mobility.
Emily Corcoran agreed that information on species mobility and migration routes would be extremely useful information for OSPAR expert groups.
Alessandra Giorgetti presented a set of EMODnet Chemistry products, including new maps and 10-years sliding –window averages for a set of variables. Improvements to the portal have been put in place so that now the visualization and plotting is much faster. EMODnet Chemistry has been very active developing contacts with Regional Sea Conventions and ICES, mostly related to the implementation of MSFD. After finishing the last round of harvesting, they are now working on the validation of the data at the regional level.
Day 2 – Thursday 10 December 14.00 – 17.30
Antonio Novellino described the new products made available through the EMODnet Physics, in particular, the ice data products. They are also working on improving sea-level trends products and making access to data easier in general. They are a very active partner in the AtlantOS project where their role was to put data into the infrastructure. An MoU is to be signed between Mercator and EMODnet, blessed by both DGs noting that DG GROWTH had the same needs as DG MARE in terms of identifying users. He also indicated that Mercator is keen to link in with other lots so this collaboration is bound to grow in the future.
A discussion followed on the usefulness of adding underwater acoustics into the next EMODnet phase. Finally, the use of wave gliders and also marine mammals as platforms for real-time data was also mentioned as potential subjects of interest to be considered by the Physics thematic lot.
Human activities are implementing a search engine optimisation strategy to increase the number of visits to the portal through better positioning in google ranking when users look up certain keywords. They need to drive traffic through social media and one option is to develop a blog but they would need input such as short articles.
Jan-Bart Calewaert said EMODnet needed to further enhance its visibility and promote their presence via social media such as twitter. Francisco Souza-Dias said twitter analytics allowed analyses of tweets in terms of what worked well and what didn’t.
Emily Corcoran to provide contact details in relation to MSFD D6 to Secretariat.
Alessandro Pititto will clarify the sort of information / articles they would like from partners and send this to the Secretariat.
Agenda item 9: EMODnet events and calendar 2016
European Maritime Day (EMD) 2016
Jan-Bart Calewaert provided information on the structure of EMD 2016 but said that the Secretariat had been approached in the framework of AtlantOS to consider developing a joint workshop on coordination of ocean observing. It had not been decided who would lead the workshop, the Secretariat would not be prepared to do so this year because the focal topics where beyond the core of EMODnet. EuroGOOS was suggested and they would look into whether they could lead a workshop.
Any Other Activities
Giuseppe Manzella and Dick Schaap are conveners of a Session on Informatics in Oceanography and Ocean Science at the next EGU in Vienna (13-15 April 2016).
Alessandro Pititto is attending the 2nd Baltic sea maritime spatial planning meeting in January.
Patrick Gorringe informed that there may be a Science day before IOC Executive Council which may be a good opportunity to publicise EMODnet activities. He will follow-up.
Agenda item 10: Administrative and reporting issues
Giuseppe Manzella noted that the Checkpoints had problems related to SeaDataNet vocabularies. Dick Schaap said that vocabularies were always being maintained and BODC could be contacted in relation to this. Also a fitness-for-purpose vocabulary was being developed.
Dick Schaap queried the purpose of the Checkpoint stakeholder workshops. Who are the stakeholders and what is the objective?
Jan-Bart Calewaert clarified that the new sea-basin Checkpoints were tasked to organise a stakeholder workshop around month 18 and that such dialogue with stakeholders can improve the Checkpoints both to improve uptake and to improve the quality of the assessment. The Checkpoints have a dual role to advise member states on the data available at the level of the regional sea-basin and highlighting gaps or overlaps which could be considered when managing or developing monitoring programmes. Secondly, the Checkpoints can also provide feedback and recommendations to marine data repositories and in particular the EMODnet thematic portals.
Agenda item 11: AOB
Nothing to report
Agenda item 12: Next Steering Committee meeting date and location
It was proposed that the next steering committee meeting would take place in June in Brussels, most likely in the Royal Academy of Sciences. Members asked if the last week in May could also be considered. Secretariat will organise a doodle poll.
Secretariat to send around a doodle poll with dates for the next Steering Committee meeting.
 ABPmer, (2015). A Review of Access to Industry Environmental Data. A report produced by ABP Marine Environmental Research Ltd for Productive Seas Evidence Group, November 2015 http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/science/MSCC/PSEG/data