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About Human Activities

The Human Activities portal was not included in the first phase of EMODnet, and its development only begun in September 2013. Nonetheless, in the previous EMODnet phase, the Human Activities team caught up with the other portals, and now work towards providing a seamless multi-resolution digital map of European waters, with the highest resolution possible.

EMODnet Human Activities aims to facilitate access to existing marine data on activities carried out in EU waters, by building a single entry point for geographic information on 14 different themes. The portal makes available information such as geographical position, spatial extent of a series of activities related to the sea, their temporal variation, time when data was provided, and attributes to indicate the intensity of each activity. The data are aggregated and presented so as to preserve personal privacy and commercially-sensitive information. The data also include a time interval so that historic as well as current activities can be included.

The information provided through the portal is collated from a variety of sources, harmonised and made interoperable. Data are free and free of any restrictions, in such a way as to ensure their use from a multitude of stakeholders (policy makers, researchers, students, spatial planners, etc.).

EMODnet Human Activities revolves around a few key principles:

  • It is not a new data collection: the portal simply pools together existing resources. The rationale is that a considerable number of institutions are already collecting reliable data in Europe, and there is no need to duplicate their efforts. Human Activities intends to make the most of what is already available.
  • It is entirely voluntary: all data providers share their data and contribute to achieving the project's objective. Data sources are not being financed to share their data.
  • Data need to be harmonised and interoperable: the added value of Human Activities lies in its capacity to provide standardised information, which could not be found elsewhere in a common format.
  • Data should stay where they are now: contrary to many projects that aim to build their own database, the principle underlying EMODnet is that primary data sources should remain in charge of their data. This means that, where possible, EMODnet encourages sources to provide their data via machine-to-machine connections. In this way, data are not moved to a centralised database, and are maintained by their originators.

At present, EMODnet Human Activities provides data on:

Theme Activity Geographical Type Attributes
Aggregate Extraction Aggregate Extraction

Points

Gravel extracted per year, area of activity
Aquaculture Finfish Production

Points

Species of fish and shellfish; production tonnage per year
Shellfish Production

Points

Species of fish and shellfish; production tonnage per year
Freshwater Production

Points

Species of fish; production tonnage per year
Cables Telecommunication Cables (schematic routes)

Lines

Types of cable or pipeline, width
Landing Stations

Points

 
Telecommunication Cables (actual route locations)

Lines

 
Cultural Heritage Ship Wrecks

Points

 
Lighthouses

Points

 
Submerged Prehistoric Archaeology and Landscapes

Points

 
Dredging Dredging

Points

Status (years operational), purpose
Environment Protected Areas

Points and polygons

Legal basis for protection
State of Bathing Waters

Points

 
Fisheries Fisheries zones

Polygons

ICES and FAO nomenclature
Fish Catches

Polygons

 
Fish Sales

Points

 
Hydrocarbon Extraction Active Licenses

Polygons

Status (exploration, exploitation)
Boreholes

Points

Status (exploration, exploitation)
Ofshore Installations

Points

 
Main Ports Traffic

Points

Traffic
Ocean Energy Facility Project Locations

Points

Type, status (planned, under construction, operational)
Test Sites

Polygons

 
Other Forms of Area Management/ Designation Other Forms of Area Management/ Designation

Polygons

National or international basis
Pipelines Pipelines

Lines

 
Waste Disposal Dredge Spoil Dumping

Points and polygons

Status (years operational), distance from coast
Dumped Munitions

Points and polygons

Distance from coast, munition type
Wind Farms Wind Farms

Points and polygons

Number of turbines, generation capacity, status (planned, under construction, operational)

The approach adopted is that as far as possible each activity should be covered by a single source that can provide data for all EU sea basins. This makes it possible to obtain complete and already harmonised datasets, thus reducing the risk of data gaps. When it is not possible to have a single source covering an entire activity, of course national and local sources will be surveyed. In addition, as a general rule, EU and other public sources are privileged in order not to duplicate existing initiatives, ensure data continuity and reliability, and provide data with as few restrictions as possible. All datasets available on the portal are complemented with INSPIRE-compliant metadata, so as to provide Human Activities users with complete information on the way data are processed.