The European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet) is a web portal that brings together marine data, data products and metadata from diverse sources within Europe in a uniform way. It was initiated by the European Commission in response to the EU Green Paper on Future Maritime Policy, launched in June 2006. The main purpose of EMODnet is to unlock fragmented and hidden marine data resources and to make these available to individuals and organisations without restriction, except in special cases. The primary motivation for EMODnet is to stimulate investment in sustainable coastal and offshore activities through improved access to quality-assured, standardised and harmonised marine data.