Improving ocean observation through the EU project EuroSea

EuroSea consortium at the project’s kick-off meeting in Brussels. Photo provided by EuroSea, photographer Michael Chia.The Marine Institute is one of 55 partners involved in EuroSea, a €12.6 million EU funded project which aims to significantly improve ocean observation in Europe and beyond. Researchers and industry representatives recently attended the EuroSea opening conference held in Brussels.

There are significant gaps in our knowledge of the ocean due to missing or insufficiently linked ocean observations. Such knowledge gaps make it difficult to assess the present ocean status, as well as predict how best to plan for future developments for a sustainable use of the oceans. The EuroSea project aims to better combine existing capacities in the European marine observing system and fill these existing gaps. As well as improving ocean measurements, EuroSea focuses on the quality and usability of collective data and development of downstream services for society.

The Marine Institute will be leading an area of the EuroSea project which involves working with users in aquaculture, fisheries, tourism, and environmental agencies to co-create products that help identify and foresee Extreme Marine Events. These Extreme Marine Events may be low oxygen levels and marine heat waves that can threaten marine ecosystems, resources, food security and related businesses.Kieran Reilly, Ocean Science and Information Services at the Marine Institute presenting at the EuroSea kick-off meeting recently held in Brussels. Photo provided by EuroSea, photographer Michael Chia.

Mr Mick Gillooly, Director of Ocean Science and Information Services at the Marine Institute said, "Working with European partners to enhance and develop integrated ocean and climate observation and monitoring programmes and enhance advisory services is a key strategic initiative of the Marine Institute. EuroSea will greatly improve European marine observing systems by combining resources and making data and information more easily accessible to all users."

The Marine Institute will be developing data products and services using numerical models in Irish waters, which will be combined with biological datasets provided by the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Parks and Wildlife Service. The Institute will also support the establishment of an integrated European Tide Gauge Network, which will include the existing Irish Tide Gauge Network.

The EuroSea consortium includes scientific institutions and partners from 13 European countries, Brazil and Canada, and is receiving support from intergovernmental organisations and networks. The project is being coordinated by the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel.

Dr Toste Tanhua, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel said, "We want to pave the way for a sustained ocean observing system that not only provides researchers, but also users such as fisheries, aquaculture, coastal protection, offshore energy generation and ultimately the public with the information they need and demand. In doing so, we are also contributing to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, the UN Decade for Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, and the G7 Initiative Future of the Seas and Oceans."

EuroSea has received €12.6 million in funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme. For more information visit