Our oceans have historically been instrumental in the transport of goods and people. Globalization has led to a constant increase in the global merchant fleet, whereby nowadays approximately 90% of the global trade is carried by sea. Industrial activities related to the exploitation of ocean resources are also on the rise. In addition the melting of the Polar caps due to climate change has opened up several new routes to commercial shipping, sea transportation, off-shore operations, and fisheries, making the timely information on sea ice essential for all types of marine operations in Polar Regions. All of these factors call for the need to have a set of services for monitoring our oceans for environmental, safety and security purposes.
Projects associated with this theme will aim to support national maritime authorities and other bodies with responsibilities within the maritime safety, environmental, security, commerce, transportation and operation domains. Maritime Services provide reliable information on what happens at sea in real time from a large variety of data sources. Earth Observation remote sensing (plus in-situ and modeling) ocean data-sets can be brought together with vessel/ship position information and other user/domain specific datasets, to provide an all-inclusive, real-time and correlated awareness of the maritime domain.
IMO – The International Maritime Organization is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.
GMDSS – The Global Maritime Distress System is an integrated communications system using satellite and terrestrial radiocommunications to ensure that no matter where a ship is in distress, aid can be dispatched. This System ensures also the provision of Maritime Safety Information, both meteorological and navigational information, on a global basis at sea.