EMODnet Biology workshop in London identifies need for data products essential for users | Flanders Marine Institute

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EMODnet Biology workshop in London identifies need for data products essential for users

Added on 2017-10-13
What data products can we develop based on marine biological data pumped into EMODnet Biology? Which tools are essential for management, policy, planning and education? The EMODnet Biology workshop in London (10 October 2017) held a brainstorm on these two questions with representatives of high level data users, such as the four European regional sea commissions, various global and transatlantic initiatives, industry, nature conservation and management organizations.

Photo: VLIZ

The Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) has been coordinating the EMODnet Biology data portal for several years now. In the long term, it will provide all available data on temporal and spatial distribution of marine species and species traits from all European regional seas. EMODnet Biology is part of the EU funded European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet) and is built upon the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) and the European Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS).

But EMODnet Biology is not just about integrating data by various data providers. More importantly, it is about providing these data in an easy accessible format desired by the users. Important potential users include the European regional sea commissions (OSPAR, HELCOM, UNEP-MAP, Black Sea), transatlantic and global initiatives (GEOBON, ICES, OBIS, MBON, AECOM), industry, and organizations engaged in nature conservation and management at sea (UNEP/WCMC, WWF, EEA).

On a high-level workshop on 10 October 2017 in London, the different organizations and institutions could indicate what specific needs they have for working with or reporting of biological data. Their wishlist of required data products that would support their operational needs. Many of the users identified many common difficulties, like the lack of interoperability, the degree of patchiness and heterogeneity across the data holdings and a lack of products to support key reporting requirements. Breakout groups discussed how EMODnet Biology can handle these.

The need for continued dialogue with the relevant stakeholders is key to the ongoing success of EMODnet Biology, and through this group of stakeholders we have an engaged and proactive community to ensure operational data products are developed to support the ongoing management of Europe’s marine environment.

The workshop in London was organized by the Marine Biological Association of the UK (MBA) and VLIZ. Click here for agenda and participants. Click here for pictures of the workshop.

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