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Areas of activity

The potential of earth observation data to support national authorities in the maritime domain is only just being realised. Unlike land monitoring, activities in the maritime domain have not been subject to the same level of oversight, until nowadays. The increasing availability of satellite data delivered by services such as the Copernicus Maritime Surveillance Service means that even the most remote areas at sea need never be completely out of sight.

New requirements are constantly being identified by users. Currently, EMSA provides services and Earth Observation products in the following areas:

• Fisheries Control,
• Law Enforcement,
• Customs,
• Marine Environment, and
• Maritime Safety and Security.

 For more information on the Copernicus Maritime Surveillance services products available to users please consult the Copernicus Maritime Surveillance service overview brochure.


Optical and radar satellite images can support a range of activities in the maritime domain

Law Enforcement   Fish Cage and Vessel

Law Enforcement: monitoring ports can provide valuable information on the movement of suspicious vessels

Image: European Space Imaging/DigitalGlobe 2015 

Fisheries Control: satellite surveillance of fish farms can assist control authorities in verifying the location, size and number of fish cages

Image: European Space Imaging/DigitalGlobe 2015

 Oil Spill Detection with Vessel Track Overlaid  Vessel Identification

Marine Pollution Monitoring: if an oil spill is detected on a satellite image, overlaying vessel position information can help trace the source

Image: EMSA 2013

Maritime Safety and Security: locating and identifying vessels can be useful for maritime safety operations, such as supporting search and rescue

Image: European Space Imaging/DigitalGlobe 2015

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