This study concerns with the potential applicability of using wave energy converters, specially oscillating water columns, as monitoring buoys for operational oceanography. The concept of operational oceanography and the network of infrastructure and collaboration behind the concept is introduced, identifying the main sectors and stakeholders involved. 42 semistructured interviews were performed to individuals of different sectors of interest related to operational oceanography. From the interviews the common problems and needs were identified according to their processes, and main findings were presented. Some sectors act only as end-users such as the people in the leisure sector and in the transport sector, but some of them can be operators, added-value intermediates, and/or end-users such in the case of the environment, energy and military sectors. Operators, intermediates and end-users suffer from similar pains regarding the reliability of forecasting and observational data. Failure of systems are in general related to reduced battery lifetime, PV panel failures, bio-fouling, transmission systems and sensors. Wave energy converters designed for small dimensions can fulfill some of the needs, specially in terms of increased power capacity and continuity, reducing some of the limitations of the current systems. In general, wave powered buoys might represent an attractive alternative to substitute current monitoring systems.