The European Commission has launched a pilot version of a new European Atlas of the Seas - a dynamic online atlas where users will be able to learn more about Europe's seas, its maritime sectors, the interaction between them and the maritime policy which brings them all together.
By presenting the European Union's maritime heritage to the public in a practical and informative way, the atlas is seeking to bring fisheries and maritime policies to a wider audience. It offers detailed information on a vast array of maritime subjects and areas, such as: the volume of passengers and cargo carried to and from various destinations, the areas most affected by coastal erosion, or which Member States fish for a certain species in which sea basin. Information on sea depths and undersea relief names, rivers and their drainage basins, tide amplitude, sea level rise, marine protected areas and many other things are also to be found. The atlas, which will be available in English, French and German, was one of the actions outlined by the Commission when it launched an Integrated Maritime Policy for the European Union in 2007. This pilot edition of the atlas will be further developed, and for this purpose an online survey asks users to give feedback and ideas for improvement. The deadline for feedback is 4 July 2010.