Environmental changes on a world-wide scale have accentuated the need to collect data on the sea in order to:
- better understand its dynamics, the exchanges at its interfaces and its responses to anthropogenic pressure,
- obtain a solid foundation of knowledge required to guide public policies intended to preserve marine ecosystems.
Because the ocean is a complex environment, in which processes on different spatial and temporal scales interlock, a basic piece of information can often exceed the boundaries of the context within which it was acquired. The high cost of data collection at sea is also a factor to be considered. These elements give marine data a heritage value, justifying the need to archive them for the long term and to facilitate their accessibility and promotion.