The CPMR has been discussing the topic of marine data with its member regions, MEPs and maritime organisations.

As part of its Coastal Mapping project, on 7 February the CPMR held meetings with its regions and the European Parliament’s The Seas, Rivers, Islands and Coastal Areas (SEARICA) Intergroup.

The meeting with Regions also brought together representatives from the regions, National Hydrographic Services, Mercator Ocean and NEREUS.

The participants stressed the strategic importance of ensuring the availability and interpretability of marine data in general, as well as coastal bathymetric data. They made it clear that this will support the maritime activities of Regions, including environment monitoring, economic development and climate change adaptation.

The SEARICA Intergroup meeting provided the opportunity for the CPMR and Coastal Mapping project partners to present their work.

Bernhard FRIESS, Director for Maritime Policy and Blue Economy at DG MARE, said that at sea “all economic activities depend on the knowledge we have of them and on data, and the availability of that data” they shared a 3 axis European strategy for bathymetric data acquisition.

It was suggested that an EU strategy should be developed that would:

– Set up co-ordinated programmes for data acquisition at maritime basin scale;

– Increase the opportunities for bathymetric data acquisition in the framework of the EU operational programmes and funds;

– Promote the production of bathymetric data from multiple sources, usable by different categories of coastal users for maritime policies.

George Alexakis, Vice-President of the CPMR underlined the importance of a European strategy such as this because it wpould support the everyday work pf maritime and peripheral regions. He said they “need coastal mapping in order to deal with real problems at regional and local level”.