Monitoring is the basis for the MOSWOZ research programme. Data is collected to answer the research questions and to understand what is at stake on the North Sea. Think of the routes that shipping follows, the number of accidents at sea and how the wind and waves behave in the vicinity of a wind farm. Data also gives an insight into the effects of extra wind farms on shipping safety.

The KNMI (Royal Netherlands Meteorological Office) forecasting office in De Bilt

The topic of Monitoring has several main issues:

  • Do the predicted threats at sea actually occur and, are they doing so in the expected manner?
  • Are there any unexpected developments and, if so, what are they?
  • How efficient and effective are the measures that are being used for shipping safety?

Where does the data for MOSWOZ come from?

The MARIN research institute, the Coast Guard and Rijkswaterstaat provide the data for Monitoring. The Coast Guard collects data on the position, speed, direction and condition of vessels for the Dutch section of the North Sea. In that respect, the 'condition' means whether the vessel is at anchor or moving. In addition, Rijkswaterstaat has a database of accidents with vessels and a hydro-meteo centre. The database of accidents with vessels lists all incidents that have occurred, from large-scale to small-scale. The hydro-meteo centre collects data on waves and wind which, for example, gives an insight into the conditions during a storm. Research data is also collected on wind farms abroad for the topic of Monitoring.

MARIN network analyses

From 2021, up to and including 2025, the MARIN research institute will be conducting an annual network analysis for MOSWOZ. These analyses give a general picture of shipping traffic on the North Sea. MARIN will initially gather data on shipping routes and the weather. The researchers will then use that to answer a range of questions. What do vessels do, for instance, in the event of a storm? Do they avoid wind farms? The annual MARIN network analysis helps to answer these and other MOSWOZ research questions.

MARIN in-depth research

There are sometimes questions from other topics in which it is necessary to conduct in-depth research. On request, MARIN can add these extra questions to the network analysis. For instance, is it possible to identify a vessel that is adrift quicker in anchorage areas? Anchorage areas are, in a way, the maritime equivalent of car parks. In such a place, a vessel that is adrift may collide with other vessels or move towards a wind farm. Identifying the problem rapidly can reduce the risk of collisions as emergency services can be on site quicker.