The concept of EMODnet Checkpoints was introduced within the framework of the EU’s Marine Knowledge 2020 Strategy. In spite of the EU initiatives such as EMODnet, Copernicus and the Data Collection Framework (DCF) for Fisheries

aimed at delivering seamless layers of marine data across national boundaries, there are still many shortcomings in the availability and accessibility of EU marine data. To date, data collection has largely been put in place to address specific and/or national requirements. We only have a partial overview at the sea-basin scale of data gaps and duplications, and there is no overall view of what the priorities are for further data collection or assembly.

EMODnet Checkpoint projects are assessments of regional quality monitoring systems aimed at:

  • Clarifying the observation landscape at the scale of the marine region, highlighting existing national and international programs, and their roles and synergies
  • Depicting fitness for purpose monitoring indicesthat will show the performance, accessibility and usability of observational and modelling data sets in the overall marine region
  • Identifying the gaps and prioritizing the needs in order to optimize the system(in situ and satellite data collection and assembling, data management and networking, modelling and forecasting, geo-infrastructure) and release recommendations for evolutions to better meet the application requirements

This is an innovative approach, which assesses monitoring on the basis of actual needs and real use by society at large, thus reinforcing the sustainability of the European marine observing system.

The high-level scheme for the EMODnet Checkpoint is shown in the figure below: Sea-Basin checkpoints are at the end of a long value-adding chain and they feed back into the European data collection by assessing the quality of the monitoring systems.