About EMODnet Seabed Habitats
In the first phase of EMODnet Seabed Habitats (2009-2012) over
two million square kilometres of European seabed were mapped using
levels 3 and 4 of the EUNIS (European Nature Information System)
classification system to produce the EMODnet broad-scale seabed
habitat map for Europe (EUSeaMap). In phase 2 (2013-2016), the
coverage of the maps has been extended to all European seas and the
existing maps have been improved.
Furthermore, EMODnet Seabed Habitats continued the work started
by MESH and MESH Atlantic projects of collating and making
available seabed habitat maps from surveys, through
the EMODnet Seabed Habitats interactive map.
An example of the EMODnet Seabed
Habitats portal being used to display GIS data.
EMODnet Seabed Habitats is part of a wider family of
projects within the European Marine Observation and Data Network
(EMODnet) initiative. It is funded by the European
Commission’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and
Fisheries (DG MARE), with the primary aim to support the
requirements of the Marine Strategy
Framework Directive (MSFD).
The data layers, confidence maps and thresholds produced by the
EMODnet Seabed Habitats consortium
are available publically for free through the interactive
More information on the principles behind generating broad-scale
habitat maps can be found in the documents section.
- Review and analyse existing broad-scale marine habitat mapping
efforts in terms of methods used, data requirements and
- Develop a common methodology for broad-scale seabed habitat
mapping across Europe, specifically for the Baltic, North East
Atlantic, Macaronesia, Black Sea and Mediterranean sea
- Introduce better quality habitat maps through the use of best
available data and refined modelling processes.
- Make the digital map layers available to stakeholders and
develop an on-line mapping tool to display the layers incorporating
a site to make the data available to the public.
- Collate detailed habitat maps from surveys across European
Seas, display the data on the on-line mapping tool to
make them available to the public.
- Assess the benefits and constraints of using broad-scale
categories of the EUNIS marine habitat
types, in comparison with the use of other regional variations
and what shortcomings could be addressed by more accuracy and
- Demonstrate how the
Marine Strategy Framework Directive Annex III requirements can
be used in characterising the marine environment.
- Contribute towards INSPIRE implementation
- Determine the effort required to provide a more accurate,
higher resolution survey-based mapping.