Skip to main content

Region Results: Europe

Detailed results on the deep-sea capacity of 26 European geographical areas, including indices for subregional comparisons.

Published onSep 12, 2022
Region Results: Europe
·

1. Region Overview

There are four subregions in Europe: Northern Europe, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and Southern Europe (Figure 1). These subregions encompass 49 geographical areas (GeoAreas), 43 of which are sovereign countries (88%), and 6 of which (12%) are dependent territories (Figure 2A; Europe GeoAreas)[1]. Economically, 36 GeoAreas in Europe are high income (74%), ten are upper middle income (20%), one is lower middle income (2%), and two are not classified (4%) (REF-WB) (Figure 2B; Europe Income Groups)[2]. There are no Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in Europe [1].

Figure 1

Europe Subregions
Map of Europe showing the four subregions used in the 2022 Global Deep-Sea Capacity Assessment: Northern Europe, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and Southern Europe. Light purple indicates the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of Europe. [1][3][4][5]


This assessment includes information about the technical and human capacity of 26 GeoAreas in Europe. For 16 GeoAreas, we have both survey and research data; for eight GeoAreas, we have only research data, and for two GeoAreas, we have only survey data (Figure 2C; Europe Data Sources). For the remaining 23 GeoAreas, we did not collect research data; these include non-permanently inhabited islands, landlocked countries, and those with <1% deep sea within their Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). 

Figure 2

GeoArea Information
(A) Number of sovereign countries (blue) and dependent territories (orange) in each subregion of Europe. (B) Number of high income (blue), upper middle income (orange), lower middle income (yellow), low income (teal), and not classified (grey) GeoAreas in each subregion of Europe. (C) Number of GeoAreas in Europe with survey and research data (blue), survey data only (orange), research data only (yellow), and no data (grey) used in this assessment for each subregion. [1][2]


Thirty-six, or 74% of the GeoAreas in Europe, claim marine Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs), covering a total area of 16,758,000 km2 (Figure 3; Europe EEZs)[3][4][5]. Of those, 24 European GeoAreas have deep ocean in their EEZs (200+ m), encompassing an area of approximately 10,254,000 km2, or 61% of the total EEZ area within the jurisdiction of European GeoAreas (FIG). These figures do not include territories and dependencies in other geographic regions that are administered by European countries.

Figure 3

Exclusive Economic Zones
(A) Number of GeoAreas with >1% deep ocean within their EEZ (blue), <1% deep ocean within their EEZ (orange), and no EEZ (yellow). (B) Area of each depth zone for all EEZs claimed in each subregion of Europe. (C) Area of EEZs in Europe by oceanographic depth zone. [3][4][5]


GeoAreas in Eastern Europe claim the largest EEZ area, 97% of which is under Russian jurisdiction. GeoAreas in Western Europe claim the smallest EEZ area, 73% of which is under French jurisdiction. Eastern Europe claims the largest area of deep ocean, followed by Northern Europe, Southern Europe, and Western Europe. The Russian Federation, Portugal, Spain, Norway, and Iceland have the largest deep-ocean areas within their EEZs in Europe. 

The largest depth zone by area lies between 0-200 m, covering 39% of all European EEZs, followed by 2,000-4,000 m (23% of all EEZs in the region). The largest depth zone by area in Northern, Western, and Eastern Europe is between 0-200 m water depth. Southern Europe's largest depth zone is 2,000-4,000 m.

RESEARCHER PERSPECTIVE
"Often, when looking at research institution websites, the technology and facilities pages were 'under construction' or were only briefly described. There was a lack of information regarding deep-sea studies in Eastern European countries. This could be due to restricted access to information and difficulty searching for information due to language barriers." --Harriet Baldwin, The Crown Estate, United Kingdom


2. Survey Responses & Demographics

2.1 Geographic & Demographic Representation

Respondents were asked four questions about their geographic and demographic representation: which GeoArea they represent, in what GeoArea they live, their gender identification, and their age group.

Which GeoArea would you like to represent for this survey? (Q1)
Thirty-three complete surveys representing 18 GeoAreas in Europe were submitted to the Global Deep-Sea Capacity Assessment Survey (Figure 4). Eight responses were for Northern Europe, six for Western Europe, three for Eastern Europe, and 16 for Southern Europe. We received the most surveys from Portugal (7), the United Kingdom (4), and Greece (3). We received only one survey response for each of 11 GeoAreas. Almost all of the respondents lived in the GeoArea they were representing (94%).

Figure 4

Respondent Geographic Representation
GeoAreas in Europe with one survey response (A), 2-3 survey responses (B), and 4-9 survey responses (C). [3][4][5]

Figure 5

Respondent Demographic Representation
(A)
Gender identity of survey respondents for each subregion of Europe. (B) Number of survey respondents by age group for each subregion of Europe.

As what gender do you identify? (Q41)
Seventeen of the respondents for Europe were male (52%), and 16 were female (49%) (Figure 5A). Gender representation was generally balanced across all of Europe.

What is your age? (Q39)
Overall, Europe had the most representation from respondents in the 35-44 age group (36%), followed by the 45-54 yr and 25-34 yr age groups (27%, 18%) (Figure 5B). There was one response from the 18-24 yr and the 65+ yr age groups (3% each).

2.2 Professional Representation

Respondents were asked four questions about their professional representation: what is their highest level of education completed, in what organizational sector do they work, what are their primary roles, and in what marine environments do they work.

What is the highest degree or education level you have completed? (Q42)
The majority of respondents for Europe held advanced degrees: 22 had a doctorate (67%), and 10 had a master's degree (30%). One held a bachelor's degree (3%) (Figure 6A).

What is the organizational sector of your affiliation? (Q43)
Most respondents for Europe work in academia (55%) or government (24%). Smaller percentages of respondents work for not-for-profit organizations (9%), non-governmental organizations (3%), or other sectors (9%) (Figure 6B).

Figure 6

Respondent Professional Representation
(A)
Completed education level of respondents for each subregion of Europe. (B) Organizational sector of respondents for each subregion: academia (Acad), government (Gov), not-for-profit (NFP), non-governmental organization (NGO), or other. (C) Number of respondents who identified with up to three roles that they represent in their communities: science/research (Sci), education/outreach (Edu), conservation/advocacy (Cons), management/policy/law (Mgt), student/early career researcher (ECR), engineering/technology (Eng), developing nation/community (Dev), aquatics/recreation (Aqua), traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), Government (Gov), or other.


What are the primary roles you represent in your GeoArea? (Q5)
Respondents were asked to select up to three primary roles they represented in their communities from a list of the following options: science/research, education/outreach, policy/law/management/government, developing nation/community, engineering/technology, traditional knowledge, aquatics/recreation, industry/investment, philanthropy, student/early career, conservation/advocacy they were also allowed to enter free-text if a role of theirs was not an option.

Thirty considered themselves scientists or researchers (91%), 14 worked in education and outreach (42%), and seven in conservation (21%). Four were students or early career researchers (12%). Fewer respondents represented law/policy, engineering/technology, developing nations/communities, aquatics or recreation, traditional ecological knowledge, and other roles (Figure 6C).

If you carry out field research, in what marine environment(s) do you work? (Q6)
Respondents were asked to select all marine environments in which they do field work from a list of the following options: inshore, nearshore, continental shelf, deepwater, or none of the above; they were also allowed to enter free-text if a marine environment in which they work was not an option.

Figure 7

Respondent Field Research Environments
Number of respondents who work in each marine environment, by subregion of Europe: inshore, nearshore, continental shelf (Shelf), deep ocean (Deep), other areas (Other), or none of the above (None).

The largest fraction of respondents worked in the deep sea (61%), followed by the continental shelf (52%) (Figure 7). 

Western Europe had the largest fraction of respondents who worked in deep water (67%), followed by Southern and Northern Europe (63% each) and Eastern Europe (33%). Twenty respondents (63%) worked in more than one field environment. Three respondents (9%) worked in other environments.

3. Issues, Challenges, & Opportunities

3.1 Highlights

  • Issues | Conservation & protection, basic science & exploration, and fisheries & aquaculture were the three most important deep-sea issues identified by respondents for Europe.

  • Challenges | Funding, access to vessels, and access to deep submergence vehicles were the three most important challenges identified by respondents for Europe.

  • Opportunities | Less expensive data collection technology, training opportunities, and more precise data collection technology were identified as the most exciting opportunities by respondents for Europe.

3.2 Deep-Sea Issues

What are the three most important deep-sea issues in your GeoArea? (Q3)
Respondents were asked to select up to three deep-sea issues that they considered most important for their GeoArea from a list of the following options: basic science & exploration, fisheries & aquaculture, seabed mining, conservation & protection, maritime archaeology & history, offshore oil & gas, renewable energy, safety & security, telecommunications, and climate change; they were also allowed to enter free-text if an issue was not an option.

Conservation & protection (24% of all selections), basic science & exploration (19%), and fisheries & aquaculture (17%) were the three most important issues across Europe (Table 1).

Table 1

Subregion of Europe

Most important deep-sea issues identified by respondents for Europe

Northern Europe

Fisheries & aquaculture (26%)
Conservation & protection (22%)
Climate change (17%)

Western Europe

Basic science & exploration (29%)
Conservation & protection (29%)
Climate change (24%)

Eastern Europe

Basic science & exploration (22%)
Offshore oil & gas (22%)
Safety & security (22%)

Southern Europe

Conservation & protection (27%)
Basic science & exploration (19%)
Fisheries & aquaculture (19%)

In Northern Europe, fisheries & aquaculture was considered the most important deep-sea issue, followed by conservation & protection and climate change. In Western Europe, basic science & exploration and conservation & protection were considered the most important deep-sea issues, followed by climate change. In Eastern Europe, basic science & exploration, offshore oil & gas, and safety & security were equally ranked as important issues. In Southern Europe, conservation & protection was considered the most important deep-sea issue, followed by basic science & exploration and fisheries & aquaculture.

3.3 Deep-Sea Challenges

What are the top three challenges to deep-sea exploration and research in your GeoArea? (Q33)
Respondents were asked to select up to three deep-sea exploration and research challenges that they consider most important for their GeoArea from a list of the following options: funding, access to vessels, access to deep submergence vehicles, access to deep-sea sensors, access to data tools, scalability of technologies, human capacity/knowledge to do deep-sea research, lack of connections with other deep-sea researchers; they were also allowed to enter free-text if a challenge was not an option.

Funding (32%), access to vessels (21%), and access to DSVs (16%) were the three most important challenges in Europe. Funding was the most important challenge in Northern, Eastern, and Southern Europe (Table 2).

Table 2

Subregion of Europe

Most important deep-sea challenges identified by respondents for Europe

Northern Europe

Funding (38%)
Access to vessels (19%)
Access to deep submergence vehicles (19%)

Western Europe

Access to vessels (25%)
Funding (19%)
Access to deep submergence vehicles (19%)
Access to deep-sea sensors (19%)

Eastern Europe

Funding (33%)
Access to vessels (33%)
Access to deep submergence vehicles (22%)

Southern Europe

Funding (33%)
Access to vessels (19%) 
Capacity/knowledge to do deep sea research (13%)
Access to deep submergence vehicles (13%)

In Northern Europe, funding was considered the most important challenge to deep-sea exploration and research, followed by vessel and DSV access. In Western Europe, access to vessels was considered the most important challenge, followed by funding, access to DSVs, and access to deep-sea sensors. In Eastern Europe, funding and access to vessels were considered the most important challenges, followed by access to DSVs. In Southern Europe, funding was considered the most important challenge, followed by access to vessels and human capacity and access to DSVs.

3.4 Deep-Sea Opportunities

What are you most excited about in the next 5-10 years for deep-sea exploration and research in your GeoArea? (Q34)
Respondents were asked to select up to three opportunities in the next 5-10 years that they were most excited about for their GeoArea from a list of the following options: technology that can go deeper, less expensive data collection technologies, better/more precise data collection technologies, scalable platforms & sensors, better data access and analysis tools, training opportunities, and networking/connecting with others; they were also allowed to enter free-text if an opportunity was not an option.

Less expensive data collection technology (18% of all selections), training opportunities (16%), and more precise data collection technology (15%) were identified as the most exciting opportunities by respondents for Europe (Table 3). 

Table 3

Subregion of Europe

Most exciting opportunities identified by respondents for Europe

Northern Europe

Less expensive data collection technology (21%)
Better data tools (17%)
Training opportunities (17%)
Connecting with others (17%)

Western Europe

Training opportunities (21%)
Scalable platforms & sensors (21%)
Less expensive data collection technology (14%)
Connecting with others (14%)
More precise data collection technology (14%)

Eastern Europe

Training opportunities (18%)
Less expensive data collection technology (18%)
More precise data collection technology (18%)

Southern Europe

Less expensive data collection technology (18%)
More precise data collection technology (18%)
Technology that can go deeper (18%)

In Northern Europe, respondents were most excited about less expensive data collection technology and better data tools, training opportunities, and connecting with others. In Western Europe, respondents were most excited about training opportunities and scalable platforms & sensors, and less expensive data collection technology, connecting with others, and more precise data collection technology. In Eastern Europe, respondents were most excited about training opportunities, less expensive data collection technology, and more precise data collection technology. In Southern Europe, respondents were most excited about less expensive data collection technology, more precise data collection technology, and deeper technology.

"Less costly and more accessible vessels/tools would allow more scientists and stakeholders to be involved in the development and transfer of knowledge, especially on coastal deep-sea seafloor habitats and their vulnerability." --Respondent for France, Western Europe


4. Status of Deep-Sea Exploration & Research

4.1 Highlights

  • Global Context | Respondents for Europe had the third-lowest agreement that deep-sea exploration and research were considered important in their GeoAreas and the second-highest agreement that they have both in-country deep-sea technology and expertise. 

  • Regional Comparisons | 

    • Northern and Western Europe had a high agreement that deep-sea exploration and research were considered important in respondents’ GeoAreas, and high agreement that they had both in-country deep-sea technology and expertise. 

    • Eastern and Southern Europe had a low to moderate agreement that deep-sea exploration and research were considered important in respondents’ GeoAreas, a low to moderate agreement that they had in-country deep-sea technology, and a moderate to high agreement that they had in-country deep-sea expertise. 

4.2 Importance, Tools, & Expertise

How would you assess the status of deep-sea (>200 m) exploration and research in your GeoArea? (Q4)
Survey respondents were asked to assess the status of deep-sea exploration and research in their GeoArea by stating to what extent they agreed with the following statements on a five-point scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree:

  1. Deep-sea exploration and research are considered important in my GeoArea.

  2. We have in-country technology to conduct deep-sea exploration and research.

  3. We have in-country expertise to conduct deep-sea exploration and research.

Overall, 52% of respondents for Europe agreed that exploration and research were considered important in their GeoArea (Figure 8A). More than half of the respondents (58%) agreed they had the in-country technology to conduct deep-sea exploration and research (Figure 8B). Three-quarters of respondents (76%) agreed they had the in-country expertise to conduct deep-sea exploration and research (Figure 8C).

Figure 8

Deep-Sea Importance, Technology, & Expertise
(A)
Number of respondents who agreed (green) or disagreed (blue) that deep-sea exploration and research is considered important in their GeoArea, by subregion of Europe. (B) Number of respondents who agreed (green) or disagreed (blue) that their GeoArea has in-country deep-sea tools and technology, by subregion. (C) Number of respondents who agreed (green) or disagreed (blue) that their GeoArea has in-country deep-sea expertise, by subregion.


In Northern and Western Europe, most respondents agreed with all three statements at rates ranging from 63 to 100%. In Eastern Europe, respondents were split on whether exploration and research were considered important in their GeoArea, disagreed that they had in-country tools, and agreed that they had in-country expertise. In Southern Europe, opinions were divided on whether exploration and research were considered important in their GeoArea and the presence of in-country tools, and 65% agreed they had in-country expertise.

4.3 Deep-Sea Capacity Status Parameters

Based on the survey results of Question 4 above, we aggregated the responses for which respondents agreed or strongly agreed that (1) deep-sea exploration and research are considered important in their GeoArea, (2) they have in-country deep-sea technology, and (3) they have in-country deep-sea expertise. These data were used to calculate three Deep-Sea Capacity Status Parameters (SPs) to compare respondents’ perceptions of the relative importance of deep-sea exploration and research in their GeoArea, and the existence of deep-sea technology and expertise in their GeoArea. The SPs were calculated for each subregion of the world.

Figure 9

Deep-Sea Capacity Status Parameters
(A)
Number of subregions in Europe with each Importance Status Parameter (purples), compared to all other regions (grey). (B) Number of subregions in Europe with each Technology Status Parameter (purples), compared to all other regions (grey). (C) Number of subregions in Europe with each Expertise Status Parameter (purples), compared to all other regions (grey).


The Importance Status Parameter (Importance SP) assessed the respondent-reported importance of deep-sea exploration and research in their GeoArea (Figure 9A). Europe had the third lowest Importance SP, indicating that respondents for Europe thought that, on average, deep-sea exploration and research were generally not considered important in their GeoArea compared to other regions globally. There was, however, subregional variation. Northern and Western Europe had high Importance SPs of 4 or 5, while Eastern and Southern Europe had low to moderate Importance SPs of 2 or 3.

The Technology Status Parameter (Technology SP) assessed the respondent-reported existence of deep-sea tools and technology in their GeoArea (Figure 9B). Europe had the second highest average Technology SP, after Northern America, indicating that respondents for Europe thought that deep-sea tools and technology existed in their GeoArea relative to other regions. Europe had a wide distribution of Technology SPs–two subregions, Northern and Western Europe, had very high Technology SPs of 5, while Southern Europe had a moderate Technology SP of 3 and Eastern Europe had a very low Technology SP of 1.

The Expertise Status Parameter (Expertise SP) assessed the respondent-reported existence of deep-sea expertise in their GeoArea (Figure 9C). Europe had the second highest average Expertise SP, after Northern America, indicating that respondents thought individuals in their GeoArea had the expertise required to carry out deep-sea exploration and research. All subregions in Europe had high Expertise SPs of 4 or 5, similar to Northern America, Eastern Asia, and Australia & New Zealand. 

4.4 Status Parameter Groups

The Deep-Sea Capacity Status Parameters (SPs) are based on respondents’ opinions of their GeoArea and are calculated on a scale of 1 for low agreement to 5 for high agreement with each statement (Data Collection & Analysis). SPs vary by subregion, which are classified into six SP Groups based on the level of agreement with each of the status parameters (Table 4). Using the SP Groups, we can evaluate respondents’ perceptions of the importance of and existence of in-country resources for deep-sea exploration and research at the subregional level.

Table 4

SP Group

Importance

Tech

Expertise

Subregions

A

High

High

High

Northern Europe, Western Europe, Eastern Asia

B

Low

High

High

Northern America, Australia & New Zealand

C

Low

Low

Mid

Eastern Europe, Southern Europe, Western Asia, Northern Africa, South America

D

High

Low

Mid

Southeastern Asia, Western Africa

E

High

Low

Low

Southern Asia, Eastern Africa, Melanesia, Micronesia

F

Low

Low

Low

Middle Africa, Southern Africa, Polynesia, Central America, Caribbean

Europe’s subregions were split between SP Groups A and C, demonstrating lower than average variation in the in-country importance of deep-sea exploration and research and the perceived existence of in-country tools and expertise in this region.

Northern and Western Europe were in SP Group A, indicating high agreement that deep-sea exploration and research were considered important in respondents’ GeoAreas, and high agreement that they had both in-country deep-sea technology and expertise. Eastern Asia is also in this group. 

Eastern and Southern Europe were in SP Group C, indicating low agreement that deep-sea exploration and research were considered important in respondents’ GeoAreas, a low agreement that they had in-country deep-sea technology, and moderate agreement that they had in-country deep-sea expertise. Other subregions in this group include Western Asia and Northern Africa.

5. Deep-Sea Capacity Presence, Accessibility, & Satisfaction

5.1 Highlights

  • Global Context | Europe had the highest average presence of marine infrastructure and deep-sea technology, and respondents had the highest average access to technology and the second highest average satisfaction with the technology to which they had access compared to other regions worldwide.

  • Regional Presence, Accessibility, & Satisfaction | Northern Europe had a mid to high presence of marine infrastructure and deep-sea technology and high access to and satisfaction with deep-sea technology. Western and Southern Europe had a mid to high presence of marine infrastructure and deep-sea technology, access to technology, and satisfaction with them. Eastern Europe had a mid to high presence of marine infrastructure and deep-sea technology and low to mid access to and satisfaction with deep-sea technology. 

5.2 Presence, Accessibility, & Satisfaction Indices

We assessed organizations, industries, vessels, DSVs, sensors, and data tools using research to identify the presence of capacity in each GeoArea and survey responses to identify accessibility to and satisfaction of vessels, DSVs, sensors, and data tools in each subregion. We used this data to calculate three Deep-Sea Capacity Indices (DSC Indices) to enable comparisons between locations in terms of presence of, access to, and satisfaction with the various types of capacities.

In contrast to the Status Parameters, which are focused on the overall respondent perception of their GeoArea, the DSC Indices represent extensive research on marine infrastructure and deep-sea technology presence, survey respondents’ access to specific types of deep-sea technology, and respondents’ satisfaction with the technology to which they have access. The DSC Indices, therefore, are an initial attempt to assess the relative ability of researchers to conduct deep-sea exploration and research.

Figure 10

Deep-Sea Capacity Indices
(A)
Number of GeoAreas in Europe with each DSC Presence Index (purples), compared to all other regions (grey). High DSCPIs indicate higher diversity of capacity types present in each GeoArea. (B) Number of subregions in Europe with each DSC Accessibility Index (purples), compared to all other regions (grey). High DSCAIs indicate higher access to more types of deep-sea capacities. (C) Number of subregions in Europe with each DSC Satisfaction Index (purples), compared to all other regions (grey). High DSCSIs indicate more overall satisfaction with the deep-sea capacities to which respondents had access.


The Deep-Sea Capacity Presence Index (DSCPI) assessed the research-based presence of organizations and diversity of marine industries, vessels, DSVs, sensor systems, and data tools in each GeoArea; higher values indicate higher diversity of capacity types present in each GeoArea. Europe had the highest average DSCPIs of all regions worldwide (Figure 10A). GeoAreas in Northern Europe had the highest DSCPIs in Europe, indicating that overall, GeoAreas in this subregion consistently had the most types of marine infrastructure and deep-sea technology. Eastern and Western Europe had moderate to high DSCPIs of 3 or 4, the lowest in Europe but higher than many other subregions worldwide. Gibraltar was the only GeoArea with the minimum DSCPI of 1, while Ireland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom had the maximum DSCPI of 5. 

The Deep Sea Capacity Accessibility Index (DSCAI) assessed the respondent-reported access to different types of vessels, DSVs, sensor systems, and data tools in each subregion; higher values indicate higher access to more types of these deep-sea capacities in each subregion. Europe had the highest average DSCAIs of all regions worldwide (Figure 10B). Northern Europe had a DSCAI of 5, one of two subregions in the world with the maximum accessibility index. Western and Eastern Europe had DSCAIs of 3, and Southern Europe had a DSCAI of 4, indicating moderate to high accessibility to technology in this region and more than most subregions globally.

The Deep Sea Capacity Satisfaction Index (DSCSI) assessed the respondent-reported satisfaction with vessels, DSVs, sensor systems, and data tools in each subregion, based on several factors, including cost, availability, and capabilities; higher values indicate more overall satisfaction with the deep-sea capacities to which respondents had access in each subregion. Europe had the second-highest average DSCSIs, after Northern America (Figure 10C). Northern Europe is the only subregion in the world with a maximum DSCSI of 5, indicating that respondents were the most satisfied with deep-sea tools in their GeoArea, both compared to other European subregions and globally. Western and Southern Europe also had high DSCSIs of 4, like Eastern Asia and Northern America. Eastern Europe’s DSCSI was a low of 2, comparable to multiple subregions of Africa and Latin America & the Caribbean. 

5.3 Deep-Sea Capacity Index Groups

Using the Deep-Sea Capacity Indices, we identified four Deep-Sea Capacity Index Groups (DSC Groups) of subregions based on similarities concerning the presence of marine infrastructure and deep-sea technology, access to technology, and satisfaction with the technology available (Table 5).

Table 5

DSC Group

Presence

Access

Satisfaction

Subregions

A

Mid-high

High

High

Northern Europe, Northern America

B

Mid

Mid

Mid

Western Europe, Southern Europe, Eastern Asia, Southeastern Asia, Australia & New Zealand

C

Mid

Low-mid

Low-mid

Eastern Europe, Western Asia, Southern Asia, Northern Africa, Southern Africa, South America

D

Low

Low

Low-mid

Western Africa, Middle Africa, Eastern Africa, Melanesia, Micronesia, Polynesia, Central America, Caribbean

Europe’s subregions were split between DSC Groups A, B, and C, demonstrating high variation and mostly high presence of, access to, and satisfaction with marine infrastructure and deep-sea technology across the region.

Northern Europe was in DSC Group A, indicating mid to high presence of marine infrastructure and deep-sea technology and high access to and satisfaction with deep-sea technology. Northern America is the only other subregion in this group.

Western and Southern Europe were in DSC Group B, indicating mid to high presence of marine infrastructure and deep-sea technology, access to technology, and satisfaction with them. Other subregions in this group include Southeastern Asia and Australia & New Zealand.

Eastern Europe was in DSC Group C, indicating a mid to high presence of marine infrastructure and deep-sea technology and a low to mid access to and satisfaction with deep-sea technology. Other subregions in this group include Northern Africa and South America. 

6. Organizations & Industries

6.1 Highlights

  • Organizations | We identified 329 deep-sea and marine organizations in Europe: 139 universities and research laboratories, 124 government agencies and ministries, and 66 other organizations. Eastern Europe had the highest normalized number of organizations per GeoArea; Southern Europe had the lowest. 

  • Industries | The most common industries found in Europe were marine construction, marine transportation, safety & surveillance, and tourism, found in all subregions. Deep-sea mining and offshore oil & gas were the least present industries.

6.2 Organizations

Which universities and/or research labs, government agencies/ministries, and other organizations in your GeoArea study the deep sea or deal with deep-sea issues? (Q7-9, Q7-9R)
We surveyed respondents and conducted manual research to identify deep-sea and marine organizations, including universities and research laboratories, government agencies and ministries, and other organizations. Each research and survey data source had a limit of 5 organizations per type (lab, government, or other) per GeoArea. Overall, 206 deep-sea and marine organizations in Europe were found through manual research alone (63%), 90 were recorded from the survey alone (27%), and 33 were identified by both research and the survey (10%).

Among these 329 deep-sea and marine organizations identified in Europe, 139 were universities and research laboratories (42% of the total), 124 were government agencies and ministries (38%), and 66 were other organizations (20%) (Figure 11A). The greatest total number of organizations were found in Northern Europe and the fewest in Western Europe. When normalized by the number of organizations per GeoArea, however, Eastern Europe had the highest average number of organizations per GeoArea; Southern Europe had the lowest. 

Figure 11

Organizations
(A)
Number of academic institutions (blue), government agencies (orange), and other organizations (grey) based in each subregion of Europe that do marine and/or deep-sea work. Number of survey and research data sources for each subregion (yellow line). (B) Number of GeoAreas in Europe with each Organizational Deep-Sea Capacity Presence Index (purples), compared to all other regions (grey). Higher Org DSCPIs indicate a higher abundance of organizations present in each GeoArea.


The Organizational Deep-Sea Capacity Presence Index (Org DSCPI) assessed the research-based presence of research, government, and other marine organizations in each GeoArea; higher values indicate a higher abundance of organizations present in each GeoArea. Org DSCPIs in Europe ranged from low (2) to very high (5) (Figure 11B), higher than most other regions worldwide. Six GeoAreas (26%) had the maximum Org DSCPI of 5, and two GeoAreas, Bulgaria and Svalbard, had a low Org DSCPI of 2. Northern Europe had the most GeoAreas with high Org DSCPIs of 4 or 5 (75%), while Eastern Europe had the fewest (25%).

6.3 Marine Industries

What marine industries exist in each GeoArea? (Q10R)
We researched whether or not ten different marine industries were present in each GeoArea from a list of the following options: fisheries & aquaculture, marine transportation, tourism, conservation & protection, offshore oil & gas, safety & surveillance, marine construction, marine research & development, ocean renewable energy, and deep-sea mining.

In Europe, marine construction, marine transportation, safety & surveillance, and tourism were the most common industries present in all 23 GeoAreas (Figure 12A). Deep-sea mining was the least present industry, found in only five GeoAreas (22%). We noted this industry is currently in development in these GeoAreas, not active. The European GeoAreas that hold exploration contracts and could soon start extraction activities in waters mostly, if not exclusively, outside their own EEZs if allowed to do so. 

Figure 12

Marine Industries: Research
(A)
Percent of GeoAreas in each region of Europe in which each type of marine industry was found: fisheries & aquaculture (Fish Aqua), marine transportation (Trans), tourism (Tour), conservation & protection (Cons Prot), offshore oil & gas (Oil Gas), safety & surveillance (Safety Surv), research & development (R&D), renewable energy (Renew Energy), and deep-sea mining (Deep Mining). (B) Number of GeoAreas in Europe with each Industry Deep-Sea Capacity Presence Index (purples), compared to all other regions (grey). High Industry DSCPIs indicate high diversity of industry types present in each GeoArea.


France, Norway, and the UK had all types of industries, and Gibraltar and the Faroe Islands had the least diverse range of industries, with only five types each. 

The Industry Deep-Sea Capacity Presence Index (Industry DSCPI) assessed the research-based presence of types of marine industries in each GeoArea; higher values indicated higher diversity of industry types present in each GeoArea. Industry DSCPIs in Africa ranged from moderate (3) to very high (5), similar to Africa (Figure 12B). Nine GeoAreas (39%) had the maximum Industry DSCPI of 5, and three, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, and Montenegro, had the moderate Industry DSCPI of 3. All GeoAreas in Western and Eastern Europe had high Industry DSCPIs of 4 or 5, while all GeoAreas in Northern and Southern Europe had Industry DSCPIs ranging from 3 to 5. 

What marine industries exist in your GeoArea? (Q10)
Survey respondents were asked to select all the marine industries in their GeoArea from a list of the following options: fisheries & aquaculture, marine transportation, tourism, conservation & protection, offshore oil & gas, safety & surveillance, marine construction, marine research & development, ocean renewable energy, deep-sea mining, or none of the above; they were also allowed to enter free-text if a marine industry in their GeoArea was not an option.

Figure 13

Marine Industries: Survey
Percent of survey respondents for each subregion of Europe who indicated that each marine industry was present in their GeoArea. Industries included: fisheries & aquaculture (Fish Aqua), marine transportation (Trans), tourism (Tour), conservation & protection (Cons Prot), offshore oil & gas (Oil Gas), safety & surveillance (Safety Surv), research & development (R&D), renewable energy (Renew Energy), deep-sea mining (Deep Mining), or Other.

The majority of respondents for Europe selected fisheries & aquaculture, and marine transportation industries (97% and 88%, respectively), which were also among the most present industries found in our research (Figure 13). We also found that 79% of GeoAreas had marine R&D, and 76% of survey respondents identified that marine R&D existed in their GeoArea.

We found the biggest differences in research and survey results for safety & surveillance and, to a lesser extent, for conservation & protection and marine construction; significantly more of these industries were found in research than identified by survey respondents. Conversely, respondents selected renewable energy and offshore oil & gas significantly more than the number of such active industries found through research for Europe.

7. Vessels

7.1 Highlights

  • Importance | 91% of respondents for Europe considered ships and vessels important for their work.

  • Presence | Fishing and recreational vessels were the most common types found in Europe, followed by navy and research vessels. Cruise ships were found the least frequently. 

  • Access | The most accessible vessels to respondents in Europe were research vessels, followed by fishing vessels and recreational vessels. Less than 10% of respondents for Europe reported having no access to vessels.

  • Satisfaction | Respondents for Europe were generally satisfied with vessels in their GeoArea. Respondents for Europe were most satisfied with vessel capabilities, duration, and size. They were split in opinion on vessel availability and cost. Respondents for Northern and Western Europe were the most satisfied with vessels in their GeoArea

  • Potential Impact | 67% of respondents for Europe reported that increased access to vessels would have a high impact or would be transformative for their work. 

7.2 Vessel Importance

How important are ships/vessels for your work? (Q11)
Respondents were asked how important ships and vessels were for their work on a five-point scale from not important to very important.

Figure 14

Vessels: Importance
Number of survey respondents for each subregion of Europe who considered vessels very important or important (green) to little or not important (blue) for their work.

The majority of respondents for Europe (91%) considered ships and vessels important for their work (Figure 14), the highest of all regions.

Eighty-eight percent of respondents for Northern Europe, 83% of respondents for Western Europe, 67% of respondents for Eastern Europe, and 10% of respondents for Southern Europe considered vessels important to very important for their work. One respondent for Eastern Europe reported that vessels were not important for their work.

7.3 Vessel Presence: Research Results

What types of vessels are present in each GeoArea? (Q12R)
We researched the types of vessels present in each GeoArea, specifically if the GeoArea had research, fishing, cruise ships, recreational, traditional, or navy vessels. We recorded the presence or absence of each type of vessel, with presence meaning that at least one vessel of a given type was present in the GeoArea.

In Europe, fishing and recreational vessels were the most common, present in all 23 GeoAreas, followed by navy vessels present in 21 GeoAreas (91%) and research vessels present in 20 GeoAreas (87%). Cruise ships were the least common type of vessel found across Europe but were still present in 10 GeoAreas (43%) (Figure 15A). 

Figure 15

Vessels: Presence
(A)
Percent of GeoAreas in each subregion of Europe in which each type of vessel was found through research: research vessels, fishing vessels, recreational vessels (Rec), traditional vessels (Trad), cruise ships (Cruise), or navy vessels (Navy). (B) Number of GeoAreas in Europe with each Vessel Deep-Sea Capacity Presence Index (purples), compared to all other regions (grey). High Vessel DSCPIs indicate higher diversity of vessel types present in each GeoArea.


Nine GeoAreas (39%) had all types of vessels, and one GeoArea (4%), Gibraltar, had three types of vessels, the smallest count for the region.

Fishing and recreational vessels were found in all European GeoAreas. In Western and Eastern Europe, all GeoAreas also had research and navy vessels; in Southern Europe, all GeoAreas also had navy vessels.

The Vessel Deep-Sea Capacity Presence Index (Vessel DSCPI) assessed the research-based presence of types of vessels in each GeoArea; higher values indicated higher diversity of vessel types present in each GeoArea. Using the Vessel DSCPI, we found that vessels were the technical capacity with the most diverse presence in Europe. GeoAreas in Europe had the highest Vessel DSCPIs compared to the global average (Figure 15B). Sixteen GeoAreas (70%) across Europe had the maximum Vessel DSCPI of 5 (i.e., many types of vessels were present), and none had a Vessel DSCPI of 1 or 2. Only one GeoArea, Gibraltar, had a moderate Vessel DSCPI of 3. 

Our research also identified cargo vessels, offshore subsea construction vessels, swimmer delivery vehicles, and support vessels (dive, platform, construction, pipe laying, and handling tug support vessels) in Europe.

7.4 Vessel Access: Survey Results

What kinds of vessels do you have access to for deep-sea work? (Q12/13)
Respondents were asked to select all types of vessels to which they had access for deep-sea work from a list of the following options: research vessels, fishing vessels, cruise ships, recreational vessels, traditional vessels, or none of the above; they were also allowed to enter free-text if a type of vessel to which they had access was not an option.

The most accessible vessels in Europe were research vessels (available to 79% of respondents), followed by fishing vessels (available to 48%) and recreational vessels (21%) (Figure 16A). Research vessels were also the most accessible vessel type in all subregions of Europe. Nine percent of respondents for Europe reported having no access to vessels.

Figure 16

Vessels: Access
(A)
Percent of respondents for each subregion of Europe with access to each type of vessel: research vessels, fishing vessels, recreational vessels (Rec), traditional vessels (Trad), cruise ships (Cruise), other, or none of the above. (B) Number of subregions of Europe with each Vessel Deep-Sea Capacity Accessibility Index (purples), compared to all other regions (grey). High Vessel DSCAIs indicate higher respondent-reported access to vessels in their GeoArea.


The Vessel Deep Sea Capacity Accessibility Index (Vessel DSCAI) assessed the respondent-reported access to different types of vessels in each subregion; higher values indicated higher access to more types of vessels. In Europe, Vessel DSCAI values ranged from very low (1) to moderate (3) (Figure 16B). While Europe’s DSCAI values were low, they were comparable to many other subregions worldwide, and respondents for Europe had some of the highest access to research vessels in the world.

One respondent noted the difficulty accessing research vessels in Portugal, even though they were present there. 

7.5 Vessel Satisfaction

How well do the vessels meet your needs? (Q14)
Respondents were asked how satisfied they were with vessels in their GeoArea in terms of cost, availability, capabilities, size, and duration, each on a five-point scale from very dissatisfied to very satisfied. Out of 33 total respondents for Europe, 29-31 answered these questions (88-94% response rate). 

On average, 53% of respondents for Europe were satisfied or very satisfied with vessel operation in their GeoArea (Figure 17A). Overall, 52-73% of respondents for Europe were satisfied or very satisfied with vessel capabilities, size, and duration (Figure 17D-F). They split in opinion on vessel availability and cost, with 40-41% satisfied and 35-43% dissatisfied with those aspects of operation (Figure 17B-C). 

Figure 17

Vessels: Satisfaction
Number of respondents for each subregion of Europe who are satisfied (green) or dissatisfied (blue) with all aspects of vessels available to them in their GeoArea (A). Number of respondents for each subregion who are satisfied (green) to dissatisfied (blue) with each of the aspects of vessel operation: Cost (B), Availability (C), Capabilities (D), Size (E), and Duration (F).

Figure 18

Vessels: Satisfaction
Number of subregions of Europe with each Vessel Deep-Sea Capacity Satisfaction Index (purples), compared to all other regions (grey). High Vessel DSCSIs indicate high respondent-reported satisfaction with the vessels to which they have access.

The Vessel Deep Sea Capacity Satisfaction Index (Vessel DSCSI) assessed the respondent-reported satisfaction with vessels based on several factors, including cost, availability, and capabilities in each subregion; higher values indicate more overall satisfaction with vessels to which respondents had access. Vessel DSVSIs in Europe ranged from very low (1) to very high (5) (Figure 18) and were higher on average than most other regions due to very high satisfaction in Northern and Western Europe. While Eastern and Southern Europe had low Vessel Deep-Sea Capacity Satisfaction Indices (Vessel DSCSIs) of 1 and 2, they were equivalent to most other subregions worldwide.

Additional factors that respondents noted had an impact on how well vessels in their GeoArea met their needs included: an excessive amount of time for planning, the difficulty for new scientists to gain access, outdated vessels, and financial constraints.

7.6 Potential Impact of Increased Vessel Access

What is the potential impact of increased access to vessels? (Q15)
Respondents were asked what impact increased access to vessels would have on their work on a five-point scale from no impact to transformative.

Figure 19

Vessels: Potential Impact
Number of respondents for each subregion of Europe who said that increased access to vessels would have a high or transformative impact (green) or little to no impact (blue) on their work.

Overall, 67% of respondents for Europe reported that increased access to vessels would have a high impact or would be transformative (Figure 19). 

Half of the respondents for Northern Europe and Western Europe reported that increased access to vessels would have a high or transformative impact on their work. Respondents for Eastern Europe and Southern Europe were more optimistic, with 67-81% assessing high/transformative potential impact.

"It is a shame with Brexit we are potentially losing access to European Vessels and would have to rely solely on UK vessels." --Respondent for United Kingdom, Northern Europe


8. Deep Submergence Vehicles

8.1 Highlights

  • Importance | 73% of respondents for Europe considered DSVs important for their work.

  • Presence | ROVs were the most commonly found DSVs in Europe, followed by AUVs. HOVs were the least common type of DSV found across Europe.

  • Access | The most accessible DSVs to respondents for Europe were ROVs, followed by AUVs and benthic landers. Less than 10% of respondents for Europe reported having no access to DSVs. 

  • Depth Rating | 80% of DSVs to which respondents had access could operate deeper than 200 mbsl. Respondents for Northern, Western, and Southern Europe had access to vehicles that could operate deeper than 4,000 mbsl.

  • Satisfaction | Almost two-thirds of respondents for Europe were satisfied with DSVs in their GeoArea, including all aspects of DSV operation. Respondents for Northern Europe were the most satisfied with DSVs in their GeoArea.

  • Potential Impact | 70% of respondents for Europe reported that increased access to DSVs would have a high impact or would be transformative for their work. 

8.2 DSV Importance

How important are deep submergence vehicles (DSVs) for your work? (Q17)
Respondents were asked how important DSVs were for their work on a five-point scale from not important to very important.

Figure 20

DSVs: Importance
Number of survey respondents for each subregion of Europe who considered DSVs very important or important (green) to little or not important (blue) for their work.

Overall, 73% of respondents for Europe considered DSVs important or very important for their work (Figure 20), the highest of all regions.

In Northern Europe, 63% of respondents considered DSVs important to very important, as well as 83% of respondents for Western Europe and 81% of respondents for Southern Europe. Respondents for Eastern Europe were more neutral, with 67% considering DSVs somewhat important and 33% considering them very important for their work. Three respondents (9%) from all of Europe considered DSVs a little or not important for their work.

8.3 DSV Presence: Research Results

What types of DSVs are present in each GeoArea? (Q18R)
We researched the types of DSVs present in each GeoArea, specifically if the GeoArea had remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), human-occupied vehicles (HOVs), benthic landers, drifters, or towsleds. We recorded the presence or absence of each type of DSV, with presence meaning that at least one vehicle of a given type was present in the GeoArea.

ROVs were the most common DSVs found in Europe, present in 18 GeoAreas (78%), followed by AUVs in 14 GeoAreas (61%). HOVs were the least common, present in only eight GeoAreas (35%) (Figure 21A). 

Figure 21

DSVs: Presence
(A)
Percent of GeoAreas in each subregion of Europe in which each type of DSV was found through research: remotely operated vehicles (ROV), autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV), benthic landers (Lander), drifters, towsleds, and human-occupied vehicles (HOV). (B) Number of GeoAreas in Europe with each DSV Deep-Sea Capacity Presence Index (purples), compared to all other regions (grey). High DSV DSCPIs indicate higher diversity of DSV types present in each GeoArea.


Two GeoAreas (9%), Portugal and Greece, had all types of DSVs, and eleven GeoAreas (48%) had less than three different types of DSVs. Two GeoAreas, Gibraltar and Albania, were recorded as having none. In Europe, DSVs like ROVs, AUVs, benthic landers, and drifters were sometimes only present via a foreign entity, often from other European countries. This was especially true for territories like Gibraltar and the Faroe Islands. 

In Northern Europe, AUVs were the most common type of DSV, while ROVs were the most common type found in Western, Southern, and Eastern Europe. 

The DSV Deep-Sea Capacity Presence Index (DSV DSCPI) assessed the research-based presence of types of DSVs in each GeoArea; higher values indicated higher diversity of DSV types present in each GeoArea. Using the DSV DSCPI, we found that DSVs had moderate diversity in Europe (Figure 21B). Seven GeoAreas (30%) across all of Europe had the maximum Vessel DSCPI of 5 (i.e., many types of DSVs were present), and five GeoAreas (22%) had the minimum DSV DSCPI of 1. Given the generally low presence of DSVs worldwide, Europe’s moderate DSV presence was the most diverse of all regions compared to the global average.

8.4 DSV Access: Survey Results

What kinds of DSVs do you have access to for deep-sea work? (Q18)
Respondents were asked to select all types of DSVs to which they had access for deep-sea work from a list of the following options: remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), human-occupied vehicles (HOVs), benthic landers, drifters, towsled, or none of the above; they were also allowed to enter free-text if a type of DSV to which they had access was not an option.

The most accessible DSVs in Europe were ROVs (available to 82% of respondents), followed by AUVs (available to 58%), and benthic landers (33%) (Figure 22A). Three respondents (9%) reported having no access to any DSVs. 

Figure 22

DSVs: Access
(A)
Percent of respondents for each subregion of Europe with access to each type of DSV: remotely operated vehicles (ROV), autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV), benthic landers (Lander), drifters, towsleds, and human-occupied vehicles (HOV), other, and none of the above. (B) Number of subregions in Europe with each DSV Deep-Sea Capacity Accessibility Index (purples), compared to all other regions (grey). High DSV DSCAIs indicate higher respondent-reported access to DSVs in their GeoArea.


In Northern Europe, ROVs and AUVs were the most accessible DSVs for respondents. ROVs were most accessible in Western and Southern Europe. In Eastern Europe, one-third of respondents reported access to ROVs, HOVs, and drifters. 

The DSV Deep Sea Capacity Accessibility Index (DSV DSCAI) assessed the respondent-reported access to different types of DSVs in each subregion; higher values indicated higher access to more types of DSVs. In Europe, DSV DSVAIs ranged from very low (1) to high (4) (Figure 22B). With a DSV DSCAI of 4, respondents for Northern and Western Europe had the most access to DSVs in the region and more access than all subregions worldwide except Northern America. Eastern and Southern Europe had low access to DSVs and were comparable to most other subregions worldwide. 

What is the approximate depth range of DSVs in your GeoArea? (Q19)
Respondents were asked to select the approximate depth range of the DSVs to which they had access from a list of the following options: 0-200 m, 0-1,000 m, 0-2,000 m, 0-4,000 m, >4,000 m, or not applicable.

Twenty-seven respondents reported the depth capabilities of 66 DSVs, 80% of which could operate in waters deeper than 200 m (Figure 23). 

Figure 23

DSVs: Depth Rating
Number of deep submergence vehicles to which respondents for Europe reported access, shown by subregion (A) and depth zone (B). Selection counts include all types of DSVs to which respondents reported access: ROVS, AUVs, landers, drifters, towsleds, and HOVs.


Respondents for Northern, Western, and Southern Europe had access to vehicles that could operate deeper than 4,000 mbsl. There were no responses for Eastern Europe. 

8.5 DSV Satisfaction

How well do the DSVs meet your needs? (Q20)
Respondents were asked how satisfied they were with DSVs in their GeoArea in terms of cost, availability, capabilities, depth rating, and duration, each on a five-point scale from very dissatisfied to very satisfied. Out of 33 total respondents for Europe, 22-24 answered these questions (67-73% response rate). None of the respondents for Eastern Europe answered this series of questions. 

Overall, 48-71% of respondents for Europe were satisfied with all aspects of DSV operation: availability, capabilities, cost, depth, and duration (Figure 24).

Figure 24

DSVs: Satisfaction
Number of respondents for each subregion of Europe who are satisfied (green) or dissatisfied (blue) with all aspects of DSVs available to them in their GeoArea (A). Number of respondents for each subregion who are satisfied (green) to dissatisfied (blue) with each of the aspects of DSV operation: Cost (B), Availability (C), Capabilities (D), Depth rating (E), and Duration (F).

Figure 25

DSVs: Satisfaction
Number of subregions of Europe with each DSV Deep-Sea Capacity Satisfaction Index (purples), compared to all other regions (grey). High DSV DSCSIs indicate high respondent-reported satisfaction with the DSVs to which they have access.

The DSV Deep Sea Capacity Satisfaction Index (DSV DSCSI) assessed the respondent-reported satisfaction with DSVs based on several factors, including cost, DSV, and capabilities in each subregion; higher values indicate more overall satisfaction with DSVs to which respondents had access. Respondent satisfaction with DSVs in Europe was generally very high and was the highest satisfaction compared to all other regions (Figure 25). Northern Europe had the highest DSV DSCSI of 5, ranking DSVs in this subregion the most satisfactory in Europe and the world.

8.6 Potential Impact of Increased Access to DSVs

What is the potential impact of increased access to DSVs in your GeoArea? (Q21)
Respondents were asked what impact increased access to DSVs would have on their work on a five-point scale from no impact to transformative.

Figure 26

DSVs: Potential Impact
Number of respondents for each subregion of Europe who said that increased access to DSVs would have a high or transformative impact (green) or little to no impact (blue) on their work.

Overall, 70% of respondents for Europe reported that increased access to DSVs would have a high impact or would be transformative for their work (Figure 26). 

Responses were consistently high across all subregions, with 63% of respondents for Northern Europe, 67% for Western Europe, 67% for Eastern Europe, and 75% for Southern Europe reporting that increased access to DSVs would have a high impact or would be transformative for their work. One respondent for Europe (3%) responded that increased access to DSVs would result in no impact on their work.

9. Sensor Systems

9.1 Highlights

  • Importance | 67% of respondents for Europe consider deep-sea sensing systems important for their work.

  • Presence | CTD and mapping systems were the most commonly found sensor systems in Europe. Navigation systems were the least common. 

  • Access | The most accessible sensor systems in Europe were CTDs, followed by chemical sensors, seafloor mapping systems, and water sampling systems. Less than 10% of respondents reported having no access to deep-sea sensors.

  • Satisfaction | Two-thirds of respondents for Europe were satisfied with deep-sea sensors in their GeoArea, including all aspects of sensor system operation. Respondents for Eastern Europe were the most satisfied with sensor systems, while respondents for Western Europe were the least satisfied.

  • Potential Impact | 70% of respondents for Europe reported that increased access to deep-sea sensor systems would have a high impact or would be transformative for their work. 

9.2 Sensor System Importance

How important are deep-sea sensors for your work? (Q23)
Respondents were asked how important deep-sea sensors were for their work on a five-point scale from not important to very important.

Figure 27

Sensors: Importance
Number of survey respondents for each subregion of Europe who considered sensors very important or important (green) to little or not important (blue) for their work.

On average, 67% of respondents for Europe consider deep-sea sensing systems important to very important for their work (Figure 27). 

Half of the respondents for Northern Europe, 83% for Western Europe, and 75% for Southern Europe considered deep-sea sensors important to very important for their work. Respondents for Eastern Europe had a divided opinion on the importance of sensors. Four respondents for Europe (12%) considered deep-sea sensors of little importance or not important for their work.

9.3 Sensor System Presence: Research Results

What types of deep-sea sensor systems are present in each GeoArea? (Q24R)
We researched the types of sensor systems present in each GeoArea, specifically if the GeoArea had CTDs, chemical sensors (e.g. O2, pH, eH), water sampling systems, navigation systems, seafloor mapping systems, or imaging systems. We recorded the presence or absence of each type of sensor system, with presence meaning that at least one sensor system of a given type was present in the GeoArea.

CTDs were the most common type of sensor sensors found in Europe, present in 20 GeoAreas (87%), followed by mapping systems in 19 GeoAreas (83%). Navigation systems were the least common type of sensor across Europe, found in 16 GeoAreas (70%) (Figure 28A). 

Figure 28

Sensors: Presence
(A)
Percent of GeoAreas in each subregion of Europe in which each type of sensor system was found through research: CTDs, water sampling systems (Water), chemical sensors (Chem), seafloor mapping systems (Map), imaging systems (Image), navigation systems (Nav), and environmental DNA sensors (eDNA). (B) Number of GeoAreas in Europe with each Sensor Deep-Sea Capacity Presence Index (purples), compared to all other regions (grey). High Sensor DSCPIs indicate higher diversity of sensor types present in each GeoArea.


Fourteen GeoAreas (61%) had all types of sensors, and three GeoAreas (13%; Albania, Gibraltar, and Monaco) had less than three types. In addition, Gibraltar didn't have the capacity, but foreign sensors were used in the GeoArea's waters. 

The most present types of sensors differed by subregions. In Northern Europe, all GeoAreas had CTDs and eDNA sensors, and eDNA and mapping systems were found in both GeoAreas of Western Europe. In Southern Europe, imaging systems were the most common type of sensor, and CTDs were present in all GeoAreas of Eastern Europe.

The Sensor Deep-Sea Capacity Presence Index (Sensor DSCPI) assessed the research-based presence of types of sensors in each GeoArea; higher values indicate higher diversity of sensor types present in each GeoArea. While the Sensor DSCPIs of Europe ranged from very low (1) to very high (5), on average, the presence of sensor systems was generally high compared to the global average (Figure 28B). Sixteen GeoAreas (70%) had the maximum Sensor DSCPI of 5 (i.e., many types of sensor systems were present), while only two, Gibraltar and Ukraine, had the minimum Sensor DSCPI of 1. 

9.4 Sensor System Access: Survey Results

What kinds of deep-sea sensors do you have access to for deep-sea work? (Q24)
Respondents were asked to select all types of sensor systems to which they had access for deep-sea work from a list of the following options: CTDs, chemical sensors (e.g., O2, pH, eH), imaging systems, water sampling, navigation, seafloor mapping, or none of the above; they were also allowed to enter free-text if a type of sensor system to which they had access was not an option.

The most accessible sensor systems in Europe were CTDs (available to 88% of respondents), followed by chemical sensors, seafloor mapping systems, and water sampling systems (76% each) (Figure 29A). 

Figure 29

Sensors: Access
(A)
Percent of respondents for each subregion of Europe with access to each type of sensor system: CTDs, water sampling systems (Water), chemical sensors (Chem), seafloor mapping systems (Map), imaging systems (Image), navigation systems (Nav), and environmental DNA sensors (eDNA), other, and none of the above. (B) Number of subregions in Europe with each Sensor Deep-Sea Capacity Accessibility Index (purples), compared to all other regions (grey). High Sensor DSCAIs indicate higher respondent-reported access to sensor systems in their GeoArea.


CTDs were highly accessible across all subregions of Europe. Respondents also had high access to water sampling systems in Northern Europe, chemical sensors in Western Europe, seafloor mapping systems in Southern Europe, and navigation systems, chemical sensors, and water sampling systems in Eastern Europe. Two respondents (6%) reported having no access to deep-sea sensors. 

The Sensor Deep Sea Capacity Accessibility Index (Sensor DSCAI) assessed the respondent-reported access to different types of sensors in each subregion; higher values indicated higher access to more types of sensors. Sensor DSCSI values were high for all subregions, including a maximum of 5 for Northern Europe, indicating very high access compared to other deep-sea capacities globally (Figure 29B). 

Additional sensors the respondents noted included ADCP, optical backscatter, chemical tracer sensors, and turbidity.

9.5 Sensor System Satisfaction

How well do deep-sea sensors meet your needs? (Q25)
Respondents were asked how satisfied they were with deep-sea sensor systems in their GeoArea in terms of cost, availability, capabilities, depth rating, ease of use, and accuracy, each on a five-point scale from very dissatisfied to very satisfied. Out of 33 total respondents for Europe, 27-30 answered these questions (82-91% response rate). 

Overall, 53-72% of respondents for Europe were satisfied or very satisfied with all aspects of sensor system operation: accuracy, availability, capabilities, cost, depth rating, and ease of use (Figure 30).

Figure 30

Sensors: Satisfaction
Number of respondents for each subregion of Europe who are satisfied (green) or dissatisfied (blue) with all aspects of sensors available to them in their GeoArea (A). Number of respondents for each subregion of Europe who are satisfied (green) to dissatisfied (blue) with each of the aspects of sensor operation: Cost (B), Availability (C), Capabilities (D), Depth rating (E), Ease of Use (F), and Accuracy (G).

Figure 31

Sensors: Satisfaction
Number of subregions in Europe with each Sensor Deep-Sea Capacity Satisfaction Index (purples), compared to all other regions (grey). High Sensor DSCSIs indicate high respondent-reported satisfaction with the sensor systems to which they have access.

The Sensor Deep Sea Capacity Satisfaction Index (Sensor DSCSI) assessed the respondent-reported satisfaction with sensors based on several factors, including cost, availability, and capabilities in each subregion; higher values indicated more overall satisfaction with sensors to which respondents had access. Respondent satisfaction with sensor systems in Europe was generally high and was the highest satisfaction compared to all other regions (Figure 31). Northern and Eastern Europe had the highest Sensor DSCSI of 5, ranking sensor systems in these subregions as the most satisfactory in Europe and the world, along with Eastern Asia.

9.6 Potential Impact of Increased Access to Sensors

What is the potential impact of increased access to deep-sea sensors? (Q26)
Respondents were asked what impact increased access to deep-sea sensors would have on their work on a five-point scale from no impact to transformative.

Figure 32

Sensors: Potential Impact
Number of respondents for each subregion of Europe who said that increased access to sensor systems would have a high or transformative impact (green) or little to no impact (blue) on their work.

Overall, 70% of respondents for Europe reported that increased access to deep-sea sensor systems would have a high impact or would be transformative for their work (Figure 32).

In Northern Europe, only 38% of respondents reported increased access to deep-sea sensors would have a high or transformative impact on their work; 63% reported that it would have a moderate impact. Responses were consistently high across all other subregions: 83% of respondents for Western Europe, 67% for Eastern Europe, and 81% for Southern Europe reported that increased access would result in a high or transformative impact. Two respondents across Europe (6%) reported that there would be little impact on their work with increased access to deep-sea sensor systems.

"Sensors are still largely lacking for seafloor monitoring at depth. Light-tech cost-limited sensor development [would] allow a larger set of users and flexible implementation, complementary to large scale infrastructures. Training is another important aspect to share these tools to users beyond specialized tech/engineers." --Respondent for France, Western Europe


10. Data Tools

10.1 Highlights

  • Importance | 79% of respondents for Europe reported data tools were important to very important for their work.

  • Presence | Cloud computing was the most commonly found type of data tool in Europe, followed by data storage systems. Data visualization, data management, and sequencing tools were the least common, but 79% of GeoAreas still had them.

  • Access | The most accessible data tool in Europe was geographic information systems (GIS), followed by data storage capacity and data management tools. Fifteen percent of respondents for Europe reported having no access to any of the listed data tools. 

  • Satisfaction | More than two-thirds of respondents for Europe were satisfied or very satisfied with data tools in their GeoArea, including all aspects of data tools. Respondents for Northern Europe were most satisfied with data tools, while respondents for Western Europe were least satisfied.

  • Potential Impact | 48% of respondents for Europe reported that increased access to data tools would have a high impact or would be transformative for their work. 

10.2 Data Tools Importance

How important are data analysis & access tools for your work? (Q28)
Respondents were asked how important data tools were for their work on a five-point scale from not important to very important.

Figure 33

Data Tools: Importance
Number of survey respondents for each subregion of Europe who considered data tools very important or important (green) to little or not important (blue) for their work.

On average, 79% of respondents for all subregions of Europe reported data tools as important to very important for their work (Figure 33). 

Most respondents in all subregions considered data tools important to their work; 88% of respondents in Northern Europe, 67% in Western Europe, 100% in Eastern Europe, and 75% in Southern Europe. One respondent in Europe (3%) considered data tools a little or not important for their work.

10.3 Data Tools Presence: Research Results

What type of data analysis & access tools are present in each GeoArea? (Q29R)
We researched the types of data tools present in each GeoArea, specifically if the GeoArea had geographic information systems (GIS), data management tools, data storage capacity, data visualization tools, machine learning/artificial intelligence (ML/AI), cloud computing, and/or genomic sequencing tools. We recorded the presence or absence of each type of data tool, with presence meaning that at least one data tool of a given type was present in the GeoArea.

Cloud computing was the most common type of data tool found in Europe, present in all 23 GeoAreas, followed by data storage systems in 21 GeoAreas (88%). Data visualization, data management, and genomic sequencing tools were the least present, still found in 19 GeoAreas (79%) (Figure 34A). 

Figure 34

Data Tools: Presence
(A)
Percent of GeoAreas in each subregion of Europe in which each type of data tool was found through research: GIS, data management tools (Mgt), data storage tools (Storage), data visualization tools (Viz), cloud computing (Cloud), genomic sequencing (Genome), and machine learning/artificial intelligence (ML/AI). (B) Number of GeoAreas in Europe with each Data Deep-Sea Capacity Presence Index (purples), compared to all other regions (grey). High Data DSCPIs indicate higher diversity of data tool types present in each GeoArea.


Thirteen GeoAreas (57%) had all types of data tools, and no GeoArea had less than three types of data tools, but two GeoAreas (9%), Albania and the Faroe Islands, had three types of data tools. 

Cloud computing tools were present in all GeoAreas of Europe. In addition, both GeoAreas of Western Europe had data storage, data visualization, ML/AI, and genomic sequencing; data storage was present in all GeoAreas of Eastern Europe, and GIS was found in all GeoAreas of Southern Europe. 

The Data Deep-Sea Capacity Presence Index (Data DSCPI) assessed the research-based presence of types of data tools in each GeoArea; higher values indicated higher diversity of data tool types present in each GeoArea. Data tools were the technical capacity with the second highest diversity in Europe after vessels (Figure 34B). Eighteen GeoAreas (78%) had the maximum Data DSCPI of 5 (i.e., many types of data tools were present), and no GeoAreas in Asia had a low Data DSCPI of 1 or 2. Northern and Southern Europe had the highest fraction of GeoAreas with Data DSCPIs of 5. GeoAreas in Europe had higher Data DSCPIs than the global average, similar to GeoAreas in Asia.

10.4 Data Tools Access: Survey Results

What kinds of data analysis & access tools do you have access to? (Q29)
Respondents were asked to select all types of data tools to which they had access for deep-sea work from a list of the following options: cloud computing, data management tools, data storage capacity, data visualization tools, genomic sequencing, geographic information systems (GIS), machine learning/artificial intelligence (ML/AI), or none of the above; they were also allowed to enter free-text if a type of data tool to which they had access was not an option.

The most accessible data tools in Europe were GIS (available to 82% of respondents), followed by data storage capacity (73%), and data management tools (64%) (Figure 35A). Five respondents for Europe (15%) reported having no access to any of the listed data tools or did not know what data tools were available to them.

Figure 35

Data Tools: Access
(A)
Percent of respondents for each subregion of Europe with access to each type of data tool: GIS, data management tools (Mgt), data storage tools (Storage), data visualization tools (Viz), cloud computing (Cloud), genomic sequencing (Genome), machine learning/artificial intelligence (ML/AI), other, and none of the above. (B) Number of subregions in Europe with each Data Deep-Sea Capacity Accessibility Index (purples), compared to all other regions (grey). High Data DSCAIs indicate higher respondent-reported access to data tools in their GeoArea.


In Northern Europe, all respondents had access to GIS, data management tools, and data storage capacity. Data storage capacity was the most accessible data tool in Western Europe. In Eastern Europe, all respondents had access to GIS, data management tools, data storage capacity, and data visualization tools. GIS was the most accessible data tool in Southern Europe. 

The Data Deep Sea Capacity Accessibility Index (Data DSCAI) assessed the respondent-reported access to different types of data tools in each subregion; higher values indicated higher access to more types of data tools. In Europe, access to data tools ranged from low (2) to very high (5) (Figure 35B). With a DSV DSCAI of 5, respondents for Northern and Eastern Europe had the most access to DSVs in the region and more access than most subregions globally. The other subregions of Europe had low to moderate access to DSVs, comparable to most other subregions worldwide. 

10.5 Data Tools Satisfaction

How well do data analysis & access tools meet your needs? (Q30)
Respondents were asked how satisfied they were with data tools in their GeoArea in terms of cost, availability, capabilities, ease of use, and bandwidth, each on a five-point scale from very dissatisfied to very satisfied. Out of 33 respondents for Europe, 28-29 answered these questions (85-88% response rate). 

In Europe, 61-82% of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with all aspects of data tools: availability, bandwidth, capabilities, cost, and ease of use (Figure 36). 

Figure 36

Data Tools: Satisfaction
Number of respondents for each subregion of Europe who are satisfied (green) or dissatisfied (blue) with all aspects of data tools available to them in their GeoArea (A). Number of respondents for each subregion of Europe who are satisfied (green) to dissatisfied (blue) with each of the aspects of data tool operation: Cost (B), Availability (C), Capabilities (D), Ease of Use (E), and Bandwidth (F).

Figure 37

Data Tools: Satisfaction
Number of subregions in Europe with each Data Deep-Sea Capacity Satisfaction Index (purples), compared to all other regions (grey). High Data DSCSIs indicate high respondent-reported satisfaction with the data tools to which they have access.

The Data Deep Sea Capacity Satisfaction Index (Data DSCSI) assessed the respondent-reported satisfaction with data tools based on several factors, including data cost, availability, and capabilities in each subregion; higher values indicated more overall satisfaction with data tools to which respondents had access. Data DSCSIs in Europe ranged from low (2) to very high (5) and were higher than most other regions due to very high satisfaction in Northern and Eastern Europe—the highest in the world (Figure 37). While Western and Southern Europe had a low to moderate Vessel DSCSI of 2 and 3, they were equal to or greater than most other subregions worldwide.

10.6 Potential Impact of Increased Access to Data Tools

What is the potential impact of increased access to data analysis & access tools in your GeoArea? (Q31)
Respondents were asked what impact increased access to data tools would have on their work on a five-point scale from no impact to transformative.

Figure 38

Data Tools: Potential Impact
Number of respondents for each subregion of Europe who said that increased access to data tools would have a high or transformative impact (green) or little to no impact (blue) on their work.

Overall, 48% of respondents for Europe reported that increased access to data tools would have a high impact or would be transformative for their work. In comparison, 48% reported that it would make a moderate impact (Figure 38). 

In Northern Europe, half of the respondents reported that increased access to data tools would result in a moderate impact and half reported a high/transformative impact. Half of the respondents for Western Europe and 67% for Eastern Europe reported that increased access would result in a high or transformative impact on their work. In Southern Europe, 56% reported that increased access to data tools would result in a moderate impact on their work. One respondent across Europe reported that there would be little impact on their work with increased access to data tools.

Comments
0
comment

No comments here

Why not start the discussion?