Mercator Ocean International (MOi) is a non-profit organisation, in the process of transforming into an intergovernmental organisation, providing ocean science-based services of general interest focused on the conservation and the sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources. At the One Ocean Summit organised by France in Brest in February 2022, six European states (France, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and the UK) showed commitment to developing European oceanographic excellence by transforming MOi into an intergovernmental body through the “Brest Declaration”.
MOi 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. The organisation was founded and is funded by the five major French institutions involved in operational oceanography: CNRS (National Center of Scientific Research), Ifremer (French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea), IRD (Institute of Research for Development), Météo-France and SHOM(Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service of the French Navy. In December 2017, they decided to open up the capital of Mercator Ocean to major and prominent players in operational oceanography to strengthen Mercator Ocean’s capacity to expand in Europe and internationally. They are major national players in operational oceanography worldwide and key scientific partners of the Copernicus Marine Service and they now include: the Italians CMCC (Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici) and CNR (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche), the Norwegian NERSC (Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center), the British MET OFFICE, and the Spanish Puertos Del Estado.
As an entrusted entity
After running the European MyOcean projects since 2009, Mercator Ocean was officially appointed by the European Commission on November 11th, 2014 to implement the European ocean-monitoring service, the Copernicus Marine Service (CMEMS), as part of the European Earth observation programme, Copernicus. It is an unprecedented service, free, and open to all, accessible via a web portal that now serves about 30 000 intermediate users around the world. Having sufficient knowledge to be able to describe and forecast, among other ocean parameters, temperature, currents, salinity, the thickness of sea ice in all the oceans of the world, above and below the surface, but also their oxygen content, pH, nutrients and plankton gives the world a decisive operational capacity for scientific research, the protection of citizens and for the sustainable management of the ocean and development of the blue economy (marine energy, safety at sea and maritime routing, fishery and aquaculture management, etc). This delegation agreement covers EUR 208 million from 2021 to 2028.