The European waters are rich in natural resources and contain a large number of diverse marine habitats. The sectors of fisheries & aquaculture, tourism, maritime transport, renewable energy and oil and gas exploitation and increasing human activities (offshore and onshore) are utilizing these resources and climate change impacts form considerable pressures on the marine environment.
The different European regions are characterized by their own specific needs and therefore the monitoring systems aiming for a good overview of the status of the oceans are of very different form, i.e. in the use of measurement methodology in the divers regions of the European waters.
Impact as well from climate change as human activities can have a variety of major implications for marine ecosystems and subsequently for individual marine species. Environmental, social and economic interests often form an area of conflict and sustainable management of marine resources is becoming increasingly important and has been implemented in EU policies and governance strategies such as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive or the Common Fisheries Policy support international activities such as the Global Ocean Observing System and the Global Earth Observation System of System.
However, sustainable management of the marine environment and its resources requires a deep understanding of the physical, biogeochemical, and biological processes, their interaction and synergies and impacts on the marine ecosystem. Only with this understanding it is possible to build predictive ecosystem based management models that are able to combine and integrate the major stressors and their environmental impacts.
The integrative approach to management of the marine ecosystem implies to develop challenging new tools and approaches that deal with the complexity of interactive processes to evaluate trade-offs by simulating scenarios of management plans.
Part of this integrative approach are the observational systems implemented within the EuroGOOS regional alliances for the European waters. Over the last years several European wide projects has been conducted to integrate the in Situ observations towards a system that can serve all the need from the different users. Based on the EuroGOOS ROOSes these different projects such as actual the MyOcean for mostly Realtime data and the SeaDataNet for historical data are complemented by programmes like EMODnet.
The main aim for this report is to provide an integrated review of the existing coastalerving systems and there placement within the European waters.
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