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European Atlas of the Seas

About the Atlas

The European Atlas of the Seas  provides information about Europe’s marine environment, covering topics such as nature, tourism, security, energy, passenger transport, sea bottom, sea level rise, fish consumption, and much more.

Users can benefit from an enriched catalogue with more than 200 map layers to explore, collate and create their own marine and coastal maps. These maps can be printed, shared and embedded in articles or presentations. The Atlas is the ideal tool for schools, researchers and professionals, or anyone wishing to enhance their knowledge.

The Atlas aims to raise awareness of Europe's seas and coasts in the context of the EU's integrated maritime policy. To improve accessibility to all EU citizens, the Atlas is available in the 24 official languages of the European Union.

Stay tuned! Each week, on this website, we put the spotlight on a new map worth exploring. Take a moment to tune in and enhance your marine knowledge!

Twitter: https://twitter.com/EuropeAtlasSeas

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Map of the week – Posidonia oceanica distribution (seagrass species)

In the recent article “The Blue Planet effect: the plastics revolution is just the start[1], marine conservationist Fiona Gell explains in The Guardian that the fight against marine plastics has been a global success story. Lessons should be learned from this fruitful campaign to build a momentum on other marine and maritime challenges to get the attention or resources they need.

05 Apr
2019

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Map of the week – Beach litter

Every year, millions of tonnes of litter are generated through a variety of human activities and much of this ends up in our oceans, posing environmental, economic and public health problems. It is not surprising that marine litter is identified as one of the fastest growing threats to the health of the world’s oceans[1], the diverse marine life it supports and, ultimately, humans consuming food from the ocean.

29 Mar
2019

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Map of the week - Sea surface temperature anomalies

An article published in The Guardian on the 4th of March 2019[1] exposes the alarming effects of global warming on sea-life but also on humanity, which relies on the oceans for many vital needs such as food and oxygen.

22 Mar
2019

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Map of the week - Water transparency

What does the sea near you look like? Is it more blue and transparent or is it muddy or murky? The European Atlas of the Seas’ map on water transparency can be an interesting tool to identify the most idyllic seasides. It can also tell you a lot about the marine living in each sea-basin!
01 Mar
2019

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Map of the week – Marine spatial planning projects

MSPglobal is an initiative launched by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO & the European Commission DG MARE to develop new international guidelines on marine/maritime spatial planning (MSP). This week the MSPglobal Opening Conference took place in Paris to discuss regional visions for MSP, transboundary challenges and how to implement a joint Roadmap to accelerate MSP processes worldwide.

15 Feb
2019

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Map of the week – Quotas by country and illegal fishing

Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing practices represent approximately 19% of the reported value of catches worldwide[1]. In addition to being damaging for the marine environment, these practices present a threat to sustainable fishing and an unfair competition to legitimate fishing operators.

08 Feb
2019

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Map of the week - Underwater gliders and drifting buoys

Ocean observation and monitoring are crucial for our society. The marine data collected through oceanographic instruments and other data collection activities help us, among other things, to improve our understanding of the state of the seas and its role in climate mitigation.

01 Feb
2019

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Map of the week - Coastline Erosion

A coastline is the area where land meets the sea or the ocean. This is a dynamic and complex environment that is constantly changing due to natural conditions and human activities. When the coast deteriorates, we call that phenomenon ‘erosion’. This may be caused by storms, high waves, sea-level rise and strong wind, or human activities on the coast (e.g. construction). In contrast, when sediment accumulates on the coast we use the term ‘accretion’. This may occur due to the specific structure and orientation of the coastline, the seabed bathymetry and the prevailing weather conditions.

25 Jan
2019

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Map of the week – Water body dissolved oxygen concentration in winter

The European Atlas of the Seas offers many map layers produced with ocean chemistry data. Dissolved oxygen is one key parameter that can be used to assess climate change trends and this week, since January is well underway, we present a map of dissolved oxygen concentration in the surface waters of European seas with an example from the winter period[1].

18 Jan
2019

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