The recent addition of a ship-based component within MonGOOS is of strategic importance, as such a sustainable program for regularly repeated coast-to-coast zonal and meridional full-depth cruises to collect Essential Ocean Variables (EOVs) was missing in its portfolio. The Mediterranean ship-based hydrography program(Med-SHIP) builds on the international program GO-SHIP. Med-SHIP addresses a crucial component of the Mediterranean Ocean Observing System, i.e. the Repeat Hydrography, to promote systematic and high-quality measurements of a broad list of physical, chemical and biological EOVs, in order to to document the budget of heat, freshwater, carbon, oxygen, inorganic and organic nutrients and transient tracers. Med-SHIP cruises were implemented thanks to ship access provided by individual countries or by the Transnation Access of the Eurofleets RI. The sampling scheme covering different Mediterranean sub-basins, from east to west (2001, 2011 and 2018) and from north to south (2016 and 2022) follows the initial Repeat Hydrography plan in Schroeder et al. (2015).
Leaving aside weather conditions, a robust cruise plan in the Mediterranean Sea requires guaranteed access to Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs), which is a diplomatic cumbersome process in the region, especially in the Eastern Basin and along the southern shores. The Med-SHIP program aims to be a sustained and internationally underpinned network with two additional objectives: i) to provide sustained support to the monitoring efforts of European and MENA countries by providing capacity-building training on target topics such as ocean acidification, and ii) to raise public and stakeholder awareness of the importance of Med-SHIP for detecting and predicting global change risks affecting Mediterranean marine ecosystems.