The implementation of EU4OceanObs has been delegated to Mercator Ocean International (MOi), a non-profit company created in 2010, providing ocean science-based services of general interest focused on the conservation and the sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources. The organisation has developed complex ocean simulation systems (numerical models) based on ocean observation data (satellite and in situ) that are able to describe, analyse and forecast the physical and biogeochemical state of the ocean at any given time, at the surface or at depth, on a global scale or for a specific zone, in real-time or delayed mode. MOi is a Participating Organisation of the Group on Earth Observation (GEO) and has an active role in the GEO Blue Planet Initiative. Furthermore, MOi , together with Ifremer and Météo-France, is also one of the three French members of EuroGOOS, the European component of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) programme.

“Ocean Observation is vital to understanding and predicting the evolution of our climate, and to sustainably manage the Ocean and its resources. This a major international challenge. Mercator Ocean International is thrilled and proud to work with the European Commission to strengthen EU contribution and influence in two major international activities related to ocean observation”, says Pierre -Yves le Le Traon.

In November 2014, the European Commission selected MOi to implement the Copernicus Marine Service and has been implementing and operating the Service on behalf of the EU since. As a key organisation in the Copernicus Programme, MOi joined EUMETSAT and European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) in 2017 to develop the WEkEO Copernicus DIAS service and cloud computing platform. And now, MOi will enter and bring its expertise in a new frontier of international ocean governance by coordinating the EU4OceanObs project.

A team has been set up, fully integrated at MOi, to pilot EU4OceanObs and who will work side by side with the European Commission’s Foreign Policy Instrument Service, the G7 Future of the Seas & Oceans Initiative (FSOI) Coordination Centre and the GEO Blue Planet Secretary. The project taskforce, headed by the MOi Scientific Director, Pierre Yves Le Traon, includes EU action coordinators of the G7 FSOI and GEO Blue Planet Initiative. The GEO Blue Planet component will contribute to international initiatives for sustained oceans and on behalf of the European Commission, further integrate and promote European activities in this domain. The G7 FSOI component will foster synergies between these two bodies and on behalf of the European Commission, support the G7 FSOI Coordination Centre and notably advance the EU’s actions related to FSOI and other international developments on global ocean governance.