Project news European marine observation and data network enters fourth phase
EMODNET (European Marine Observation and Data Network) aims to open up marine data according to international standards for researchers, governments and private companies. In phase IV of the EMODNET process, continuity is provided in the development and maintenance of the portal. ILVO provides access to ecological marine data on the Belgian part of the North Sea.
Data about marine biodiversity is an essential piece of determining and monitoring ecosystem health in maritime areas (e.g. North Sea, Baltic Sea). Due to the fragmentation of marine data (per institution, country, etc.) it is very difficult to make assessments on a larger scale. An umbrella data portal with biological data offers obvious added value for policy. In addition, this is also useful in function of the European Environmental Directives, which attempt to evaluate the health status of all ecosystems.
EMODNET (European Marine Observation and Data Network) has the task of studying the seas and making the data available according to international standards for researchers, governments and private companies. These data are often characterized by their limited scope in space and time, and they are often fragmented into small datasets for particular species groups or habitats. Phase IV of the EMODNET process will provide continuity in the expansion and maintenance of this portal. In addition to adding datasets, there is also a strong focus on creating exchangeable data products tailored to the various stakeholders. The (money-saving) principle of "collect once and use many times" is followed. ILVO, as the Belgian partner in EMODNET biology, places its ecological marine data on the Belgian part of the North Sea on the official European portal. In this way they become available for consultation and data mining. ILVO has monitoring data since 1978 of benthos, epibenthos and demersal fish fauna.
ILVO is involved in work packages 2 and 5 of EMODNET IV. On the biology portal, the neatly processed ILVO biodiversity data on the Belgian part of the North Sea are further systematically made available. ILVO structures for data storage will be further developed in order to be able to perform the process from data collection to data extraction in a performant and high-quality manner. In addition, in WP5 we are working to increase the dissemination and use of this portal and its derivative products, through a thorough stakeholder consultation. The development of the data portal is coordinated by the Flemish Institute for the Sea (VLIZ).