United Nations
Open Ocean Database - Commitment on Sharing Surplus Data on the Oceans from Merchant Vessels for Public Scientific Use.
by Norwegian Shipowners’ Association (Private sector)
Since 1991 the marine geophysical company PGS has acquired seismic data of the ocean subsurface worldwide, which oil companies use to find oil and gas reserves. This activity has created an extensive MultiClient data library and numerous data sets delivered to clients. In addition to seismic data the PGS vessels have also gathered great amounts of surplus data of the oceans like temperatures, salinity, depths, currents and weather conditions. PGS has decided to open its surplus data base for the benefit of research on the ocean developments.

The Norwegian Shipowners Association has on the basis on the initiative by PGS decided to invite the whole Norwegian fleet, around 1.800 vessels, to take part in the project and share all surplus data of the oceans.

The Data will be accessible and open to all research communities World Wide.

The oceans represent our most important global common resource. Healthy and productive oceans are essential to the prosperity and well-being of mankind. Some estimates show that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the world oceans. On one hand acidification, rising sea temperatures and pollution are already affecting life below water deeply. On the other hand, there are expectations for subsea energy supply, extraction of vital metals, mineral resources, food and bases for tomorrows medicines. Covering 70% of our planet, only 5% of the oceans are explored.
Progress reports
Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels
Type of commitment
  • Other (please specify): Sharing of knowledge, data and insight from the commercial fleet of vessels covering most the worlds oceans on their voyages.
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Other (please specify): There is today a substantial quantity of historical data from ships. Future development and use of new types of sensors may broaden data range, types of indicators and insights into the oceans.
December 2018
Establish a Data hosting platform with relevant research institute to enable open sharing of marine data.
Staff / Technical expertise
A majority of the Norwegian Fleet of 1.800 vessels contribute regularly on updating data.
Other, please specify
PGS historic data from 1991 until present accessible.
Basic information
Time-frame: 2017 May - 2018 December
Norwegian Shipowners Association (Private Sector)
Ocean Basins
  • North Atlantic
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Erik Giercksky, Director, Head of Communication, ewg@rederi.no, +4799647455
Oslo, Norway
Other SDGs
United Nations