The purpose of the UK Integrated Marine Observing Network (UK-IMON) is to draw together existing UK marine observatories and observing programmes in order to  create new knowledge and better evidence by making best use of all marine data.

The case for change

Marine data is expensive to collect, costing approximately £80 million per year in the UK, with increasing pressure to reduce these costs. With a need for greater openness, accountability, sharing and access to this collected data and with new observational strategies, tools and technologies creating a ‘data deluge’, a common language needs to be developed between the many players and their numerous and diverse (observing) systems.

The way forward

Partnership and collaboration are the way forward.

UK-IMON will build on the existing UK marine observing infrastructure (Figure 1).

Streamlining data to information

UK-IMON will streamline the flow of data from observations (Figure 1) through to information tailored to meet defined user needs (Figure 2).  It will build on existing marine observing systems and MEDIN (Marine Environmental Data and Information Network).  It will also draw on major European data sources such as GMES (Global Monitoring for Environmental Security) and make use of existing information systems such as the EMECO Datatool (www.emecodata.net).

A workshop to explore adding value to existing key monitoring sites