The first-ever ‘European Maritime Day’ is being celebrated across Europe today to highlight the crucial role oceans and seas play in the everyday lives of EU citizens and to raise awareness of the opportunities and challenges facing the sector.
With nearly 70 000 km of coastline, two oceans and four seas, Europe’s maritime policy is key to safeguarding ocean ecosystems and coastal regions while at the same time ensuring maritime and coastal economies. Addressing these competing challenges, the European Commission (EC) adopted an Integrated Maritime Policy for the EU last October.
Under the European Space Policy, ESA is responsible for implementing space capabilities that respond to EU policy needs. The Integrated Maritime Policy facilitates efficient exploitation of space systems in the maritime sector, which ESA has been actively involved in over the last 25 years.
ESA’s ERS-1, ERS-2 and Envisat satellites have been the main vehicles for testing and demonstrating the feasibility of using satellite Earth observation (EO) data in different maritime policy areas, such as Arctic monitoring, marine environment protection, maritime border control, coastal planning and marine research.