Comprehensive Model of Annual Plankton Succession Based on the Whole-Plankton Time Series Approach

Comprehensive Model of Annual Plankton Succession Based on the Whole-Plankton Time Series Approach

Jean-Baptiste Romagnan 1,2 *, Louis Legendre 1,2 , Lionel Guidi 1,2 , Jean-Louis Jamet 5 , Dominique Jamet 5 , Laure Mousseau 1,2 , Maria-Luiza Pedrotti 1,2 , Marc Picheral 1,2 , Gabriel Gorsky 1,2 , Christian Sardet 3,4 , Lars Stemmann 1,2

1 Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR 7093 LOV, F-75005, Paris, France, 2 CNRS, UMR 7093 LOV, F-75005, Paris, France, 3 Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR 7009 BioDev, F-75005, Paris, France, 4 CNRS, UMR 7009 BioDev, F-75005, Paris, France, 5 Université du Sud Toulon- Var, PROTEE EBMA, 83000, La Garde, France



Ecological succession provides a widely accepted description of seasonal changes in phy- toplankton and mesozooplankton assemblages in the natural environment, but concurrent changes in smaller (i.e. microbes) and larger (i.e. macroplankton) organisms are not includ- ed in the model because plankton ranging from bacteria to jellies are seldom sampled and analyzed simultaneously. Here we studied, for the first time in the aquatic literature, the suc- cession of marine plankton in the whole-plankton assemblage that spanned 5 orders of magnitude in size from microbes to macroplankton predators (not including fish or fish lar- vae, for which no consistent data were available). Samples were collected in the northwest- ern Mediterranean Sea (Bay of Villefranche) weekly during 10 months. Simultaneously collected samples were analyzed by flow cytometry, inverse microscopy, FlowCam, and ZooScan. The whole-plankton assemblage underwent sharp reorganizations that corre- sponded to bottom-up events of vertical mixing in the water-column, and its development was top-down controlled by large gelatinous filter feeders and predators. Based on the re- sults provided by our novel whole-plankton assemblage approach, we propose a new com- prehensive conceptual model of the annual plankton succession (i.e. whole plankton model) characterized by both stepwise stacking of four broad trophic communities from early spring through summer, which is a new concept, and progressive replacement of eco- logical plankton categories within the different trophic communities, as recognised traditionally.

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International Master Program in Marine Physics

at IUEM, The Marine Institute of Brest University, France

Physical oceanography, geophysics and naval hydrodynamics are based upon a common foundation of physics, mechanics, and applied mathematics. The Marine Physics masters offers a two years intensive program with fundamental lectures, advanced courses,internships and research projects. The program is held at the University of Brest in collaboration with engineering schools, Ifremer and research laboratories at IUEM. The training provides career opportunities in research and academia in oceanography, climate science, geophysics and in applications such as operational oceanography, naval hydrodynamics, observation and monitoring of the coastal and deep sea environment, exploitation of marine mineral resources


2 year masters program with 3 specializations:

  •   Marine Geophysics
  •   Physics of the Ocean and the Climate
  •   Naval Hydrodynamics

Each year is credited with 60 ECTS.

The masters starts in early September.

Courses highlight

  •   Geophysical fluid dynamics: a framework to understand ocean physics
  •   New remote sensing methods and observing systems for the ocean and solid earth
  •   Strong mathematical training: advanced calculus and numerical methods


The internship is an important aspect of the program.

  •   It can be done in Brest area in one of the many laboratories in marine science: Ifremer, University of Brest, CNRS, ENSTA Bretagne, CETMEF, IRD, SHOM.
  •   It can be done abroad (USA, Germany, UK etc.) Brest University has an active and vivid collaboration with the University of Cape Town (South Africa) and promotes the exchange of students

The LabexMER can give financial support to master’s students who do their internship abroad (mobility grants).

Living in Brest

  •   Fortunately, Brest is one of the least expensive cities in all of France for accommodation and daily living expenses. Being a mid-sized city, there are many options.
  •   Brest is a great city for water sports: sailing, surfing and kite-surfing, diving. For 22 euros a year, you can do all these sports via the University sports service(SUAPS). So finding the free time is a more limiting factor than the cost!


Marine Geophysics Speciality

  Master 1

  •     Mechanics of deformable media
  •     Fluids
  •     Applied mathematics
  •     Signal analysis: theory and practice
  •     Numerical analysis
  •     Physics for the Earth Sciences
  •     Earth’s models
  •     Measurements at sea
  •     Project
  •     Language
  •     Issues and challenges in Marine Sciences
  •     Marine Sciences in Europe
  •     Scientific programming
  •     Internship (2 months)

  Master 2

  •     Motions and deformations in the Earth
  •      Earth potential fields
  •     Marine seismic surveys (coastal and off-shore)
  •     Geographics Information Systems
  •     Language
  •     Job finding skills
  •     Options (2 or 3 from the list below)
    •       Detection and monitoring of natural resources
    •       Water cycle in the deep Earth
    •       Land and sea remote detection
    •       Sedimentary hydrodynamics
  •     Internship (4 to 6 months)

Physics of the Ocean and Climate Speciality    

Master 1

  •  Fluids
  •  Applied mathematics
  •  Signal analysis: theory and practice
  •  Numerical analysis
  •  Measurements at sea
  •  Introduction to ocean and atmosphere
  •  Introduction to geophysical fluid dynamics
  •  Projects
  •  Language
  •  Issues and challenges in Marine Sciences
  •  Marine Sciences in Europe
  •  Scientific programming
  •  Scientific oral

Master 2

  •  Geophysical fluid dynamics
  •  Descriptive oceanography
  •  In situ observations
  •  Languages
  •  Job finding skills
  •  Internship (from Mars to September)
  •  Options (typically 5)
    • Theories of the ocean circulation
    • Climate dynamics and the carbon cycle
    • Instabilities, vortex and geostrophic turbulence
    • Coastal and estuary dynamics
    • Surface waves
    • Land and sea remote detection
    • Sediment dynamics
    • Numerical modeling of the ocean

Note: optional courses in Master 2 open if there are enough students

Naval Hydrodynamics speciality *

Master 1

  •  Fluids
  •  Applied mathematics
  •  Signal analysis: theory and practice
  •  Signal analysis: advanced course
  •  Numerical analysis
  •  Ship stability, ship architecture
  •  Experimental techniques
  •  Projects
  •  Language
  •  Issues and challenges in Marine Sciences
  •  Marine Sciences in Europe
  •  Scientific programming
  •  Scientific oral

Master 2

  •  3D Turbulence
  •  Surface waves
  •  Computational fluid dynamics
  •  Resistance, propulsion and manoeuvrability
  •  Ship stability
  •  Hydrodynamics of lifting bodies
  •  Advanced numerical methods
  •  Language
  •  Job finding skills
  •  Business and companies culture
  •  Internship (from March to September)

* co-sponsored with ENSTA-Bretagne

How to apply?

Application procedure begins in December:

  • Download the application from the web site
  • Fill it and send it back
  • Answer will be returned within a couple of weeks



Bachelor in either Physics, Mechanics or Applied Mathematics

More informations

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Scholarships for MSc Course in Applied Oceanography (Malta)

In October 2015, the Physical Oceanography Unit of the IOI-Malta Operational Centre at the University of Malta will be offering once more its successful Master course in Applied Oceanography. This will be open to both local and foreign students with a post-graduate degree. An international faculty of experts will be participating in delivering the course. Scholarships to attend this course are also available for students with high academic records relevant to the course.

MSC Banner


Application deadlines for scholarships:  

  • 15th April 2015 

 The course builds on the core principles of oceanography in coastal and open sea domains, with a focus on operational oceanography and the versatile and broad spectrum of disciplines and offshoot applications related to it. The primary aim is to train students and professionals on state-of-the-art methodologies and tools to measure, understand and predict the marine environment, and derive sustained benefits from the sea. It is elaborated over a course programme spanning and merging the scientific, technical and applicative aspects of oceanography to offer students a wide-ranging integrated approach, linking science to management, putting technology at the service of users and stakeholders, and providing tools and training for more efficient service oriented applications.  

The course modules:

  • Scientific Baseline of Oceanography
  • Practical Baseline of Oceanography
  • Essentials of Operational Oceanography
  • Data Resources in Oceanography
  • Boot Camp – Field survey and hands-on marine data analysis
  • Principles of Ocean Governance
  • Applications and Services deriving from Operational Oceanography

Job Opportunities include:

  • Marine impact assessment and specialised analysis of environmental risks
  • Research fields in oceanography and the marine environment
  • Management of coastal/marine resources
  • Marine-related industries, services and economic activities
  • Policy-making and governance
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Marine observations and forecasting
  • Data mining, management, quality control and archival 

For more information on the course please visit:

For more information on the scholarships please go to:

Email:  Please login or register to view contact information.

Success for JERICO-NEXT – a continuation project

Recent news from the European Commission advised that JERICO-NEXT has received a score of 14.5/15 during evaluation and shall therefore be funded under the H2020 call (research and innovation actions).

In the continuity of JERICO (FP7), the objective of JERICO-NEXT consists in strengthening and enlarging a solid and transparent European network in providing operational services for the timely, continuous and sustainable delivery of high quality environmental data and information products related to marine environment in European coastal seas.

We look forward to continuing the work started during the JERICO project with you all! 

Physical Oceanography sea-going Researcher

Open position

Physical Oceanography sea-going Researcher

Ifremer Centre: Brest, France.

Department: Oceanography and Ecosystems Dynamics

Research unit: Physical Oceanography Laboratory (LPO)

Closing date to apply: 13 April 2015

Working conditions: tenured position, full-time appointment including oceanographic cruises

Ifremer, the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea, is an internationally recognized leader in marine sciences, pushing the frontiers of knowledge of the oceans and their resources, and monitoring marine and coastal environments for the sustainable development of marine activities.

Located on the water’s edge, the Laboratoire de Physique des Océans (LPO, Physical Oceanography Laboratory) is an joint research unit between CNRS, Ifremer, IRD and UBO, and is affiliated to the European Institute for Marine Studies (IUEM). Within Ifremer, LPO belongs to Oceanography and Ecosystems Dynamics (ODE) department, and has strong research partnerships with coastal ecosystems and marine geophysics laboratories. The scientific focus of LPO is the dynamics of the oceans and its interfaces, through a large spectrum of space and time scales, using in situ observations, remote sensing, theoretical and numerical modeling. By 2017, LPO will merge with the remote sensing lab LOS, and part of the coastal physics lab, with 85 tenured staff organized into 4 research teams: oceans in the climate system, ocean scale interactions, coastal oceanography, and remote sensing, and a 9-people instrument engineering and deployment group.

Applicants are expected to hold a doctoral degree in physical oceanography or a related field, postdoctoral experience, and a record of scientific research publications. We expect to hire at the junior level, but well qualified candidates with strong skills in conducting cruises and analyzing ocean observations will be well considered. He/she will develop an internationally recognized and externally funded research program dedicated to the interannual to decadal variability of the global ocean (heat, salinity, dissolved oxygen, circulation, …) in the global context of climate change. He/she will analyze the dynamical underpinnings of this variability, possibly focussing on processes such as mixing, ventilation and ocean-atmosphere interactions… or specific areas (the deep ocean, the South Atlantic, the Southern ocean….). With the design, and realization of ocean-going experiments, he/she will contribute to in situ and satellite global datasets and their joint analysis (GOSHIP, ARGO, SSS, SST, altimetry, …).

Required training, background and skills

A PhD in physical oceanography with post-doctoral experience. International experience desired.

Knowledge on the role of ocean dynamics in climate issues.

Sea-going experience including the conception, organization and/or conducting oceanographic cruises.

Collecting and analyzing ocean data bases.

Written and spoken English.

How to apply:

Please follow instructions from this site:

Contact: Fabrice Ardhuin ( )

Icon of Research Scientist LPO Ifremer 2015 Research Scientist LPO Ifremer 2015 (72.2 KiB)


Jerico NEXT proposal scores highly and receives funding

We are very pleased to inform you that the JERICO consortium have received the official notification from the European Commission for Jerico NEXT.

“With a score of 14.5 on a total of 15, I’m glad to inform you that the project will be funded by the European Commission at the expected cost level, of just under 10M€.” – P. Farcy.

Firstly, we wish to all of the consortium for the active participation toward this success and express our satisfaction at the prospect of collaborating closely over the next 4 years.

Black Sea Biannual Scientific Conference

The Black Sea Biannual conference is back in its 4th iteration and will be held between the 28th and 31st October in Constanta, Romania later on this year. It will continue on concerted efforts initiated by the previous BSC scientific conferences to use science and information technology to understand and deal with the environment problems of the Black Sea, to strengthen science/policy interface and regional cooperation towards better governance of environment protection to preserve the Black Sea ecosystem.

Several sessions will be organised on a variety of topics including:

  • PollutioBlack Sea Biannual Scientific Conference logon and eutrophication 
  • Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning
  • Socio-economic impact on marine environment
  • Integrated Coastal Zone Management
  • Climate change and its impact on marine ecosystems
  • Ecosystem modelling

A call for papers is open and the submission date for abstracts is on the 31st July 2013.

Further information can be obtained from:

Plastic Pollution in the World’s Oceans: More than 5 Trillion Plastic Pieces Weighing over 250,000 Tons Afloat at Sea

Plastic pollution is ubiquitous throughout the marine environment, yet estimates of the global abundance and weight of floating plastics have lacked data, particularly from the Southern Hemisphere and remote regions.

Here we report an estimate of the total number of plastic particles and their weight floating in the world’s oceans from 24 expeditions (2007-2013) across all five sub-tropical gyres, costal Australia, Bay of Bengal and the Mediterranean Sea conducting surface net tows (N=680) and visual survey transects of large plastic debris (N=891). Using an oceanographic model of floating debris dispersal calibrated by our data, and correcting for wind-driven vertical mixing, we estimate a minimum of 5.25 trillion particles weighing 268,940 tons.

When comparing between four size classes, two microplastic <4.75 mm and meso- and macroplastic >4.75 mm, a tremendous loss of microplastics is observed from the sea surface compared to expected rates of fragmentation, suggesting there are mechanisms at play that remove <4.75 mm plastic particles from the ocean surface. 

Full paper available here courtesy of IFREMER: 

Oyster (c. gigas) recruitment in Mediteranean lagoons ; new approaches for studying larval connectivity using MARS3D modeling tools

The Thau lagoon, located at the South of France, provides 10% of the French pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas production (Robert et al., 2013). Despite this intensive shellfish production, the larval recruitment of this species within the Thau lagoon is still misunderstood and spat collection remains highly variable; as a consequence, shellfish farmers rely mostly on hatchery’s spat.

In 2012, the PRONAMED II project was launched, aiming to improve our understanding of the C. gigas reproductive cycle within Mediterranean lagoons and to explore the feasibility for oyster-spat collecting. In addition to an extensive sampling work encompassing both spatial and temporal features of larval recruitment, we tried to understand the contribution of larval dispersal on recruitment patterns.

For this purpose, we developed new approaches using the MARS 3D hydrodynamical model. While most models keep looking at the location of larvae after a simulation duration specified by the user, we propose here a new approach considering the pelagic larval duration and focusing on the duration of the larval competency for settlement.

A new index was set up to take into account the binary possibility for the larvae to settle or not during its final pelagic stage, the settlement probability increasing with the amount of larvae passing through a model mesh 

Full paper available here courtesy of IFREMER:

New Marine Infrastructure in Finland

Finnish Marine Research Institutes have started a national marine research infrastructure consortium (FINMARI) here in Finland. The aim is to facilitate international and national use of experimental resources efficiently. This is done in a close co-operation with other international and national infrastructures and ESFRI’s as ICOS, EMBRC and EURO-ARGO.

The infrastructure includes research infrastructures of 3 Finnish research institutes, 3 universities, and a state-owned shipping company. The infrastructure network consists of several field stations, research vessels and multi-purpose icebreakers, laboratory facilities, ferryboxes, fixed measurement platforms and buoys in the Northern Baltic Sea. FINMARI is listed as a nationally essential RI on “Finland’s Strategy and Roadmap for Research Infrastructures 2014–2020” by the Finnish government.

The aim is to provide an easy access to all Finnish marine research infra and coordinate national infrastructure building.  More information can be found on the website.


International Geographical Union Regional Conference in Moscow 2015

Logo IGU Moscow 2015The Regional Conference of the International Geographer’s Union (IGU) will take place in Moscow next summer for the third time since the International Geographical Congress of 1976, when over 2,000 participants from around the world gathered in the Soviet capital for lectures, discussions, workshops and excursions. The pace of global change has since accelerated in directions that once seemed unimaginable.

The IGU is among the world’s oldest international research associations. The first International Geographical Congress was held in 1871, and subsequent meetings led to the establishment of the IGU in 1922. Today its members hail from over 100 countries, united in support of geographical research and education worldwide. In addition to the IGU General Assembly, Executive Committee and National Committees, the organisation includes special commissions, task forces and study groups engaged in ongoing collaborative projects. Dr. Vladimir Kolosov, from Lomonosov Moscow State University (LMSU) in Russia, is serving as president of the IGU from 2012 to 2016.

The 2015 Regional Conference will be an opportunity to reflect upon these changes as well as the future course of human civilisation in relation to pressing socio-environmental challenges. The conference motto is “Geography, Culture and Society for Our Future Earth.”

For more information click here

Eight sharks and ray species to be protected by international convention on endangered species

Eight shark and ray species are now protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species as of 14th September 2014. The listed products coming in and out of the EU will now have to be accompanied by export or import permits issued by EU countries.

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The eight species – porbeagle, oceanic whitetip shark, scalloped hammerhead, great hammerhead shark, smooth hammerhead shark and manta rays – were earmarked for protection in March 2013 and join three shark species – basking shark, great white shark, whale shark – on the CITES list.Imports into the EU of CITES-listed sharks or ray products must be accompanied both by an import permit issued by the authorities of the country of import and an export permit issued by the CITES authorities of the exporting country.

 The export from the EU of CITES-listed sharks or ray products requires that each shipment is accompanied by an export permit issued by the Member State authority of the country of export. Specimens caught on the high seas and landed in the same state to which the vessel is flagged, an “introduction from the sea” certificate will have to be issued instead of an export permit.

 More information can be found by clicking here.

Source DG MARE, European Commission

EMODnet – Connecting people with data.

On 6 October 2014, EMODnet will organize a pre-event at the EurOCEAN 2014 Conference in Rome (7-9 October) from 14:00 to 18:00: EMODnet – Connecting people with data.

The workshop will introduce EMODnet and the data services it provides to a wider audience emphasizing the need for close collaboration between the various actors and related data initiates as well as between science and industry for new technologies and services in support of Blue Growth. It will consider how EMODnet fits in the wider marine data landscape in Europe and showcase new sea-basin level approaches to evaluate marine data availability and observation capacity from a use-perspective. To conclude, the participants will consider current bottlenecks and look ahead at requirements to guide future development of this long term marine data initiative into a fully operational, efficient and user friendly service addressing the needs of the marine science, policy and industry communities.

Refer to  for more information, regular updates and how to register.

An endangered species since the 70s

Caretta caretta are commonly called “loggerhead” sea turtles due to their overly large heads with a horny beak that is significantly thicker than in other sea turtles. They have a reddish-brown shell, with a pale yellow  plastron (underbelly) This species is the largest hard-shelled turtle in the world

baby loggerheads
Baby loggerheads

Adult males reach about three feet (nearly one meter) in shell length and weigh about 113 kilograms, but large specimens of more than 454 kilograms have been found.

Sea turtles live in almost every ocean of the world.Their enormous range encompasses all but the most frigid waters of the world’s oceans. They seem to prefer coastal habitats, but often frequent inland water bodies and will travel hundreds of miles out to sea. They spend most of their  life in saltwater, with females briefly coming ashore to lay eggs. These females will often return, sometimes over thousands of miles, to the beach where they hatched to lay their eggs.  Their smooth shells and paddle-like flippers help them speed through the water as fast as 24 kph. These long-distance travellers have been known to swim up to 4.828 km.

They are primarily carnivores, munching jellyfish, conchs, crabs, and even fish, but will eat seaweed and sargassum occasionally.

Their average life span in the wild is more than 50 years. The exact population of this species is unknown but persistent population declines due to pollution, shrimp trawling, and development in their nesting areas, among other factors, have kept this species on the threatened species list since 1978.

Sea turtles cannot withdraw their heads into their shells but the adults are protected from predators by their shells, large size and thick scaly skin on their heads and necks.

Sea turtles spend almost all their lives submerged but must breathe air for the oxygen needed to meet the demands of vigorous activity. Sea turtles can quickly replace the air in their lungs which  are adapted to permit a rapid exchange of oxygen and to prevent gasses from being trapped during deep dives. During routine loggerhead sea turtles dive for about 4 to 5 minutes and surface to breathe for 1 to 3 seconds.

One Planet, One Ocean – 2nd International Ocean Research Conference

The 2nd International Ocean Research Conference (IORC), organized by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO,the Oceanography Society and the Fundacio Navegacio Oceànica Barcelona; is an opportunity for the scientific community to come together to plan the coming decade of international collaboration in marine science and technology, with a view to improving ocean governance.

This conference has an interdisciplinary focus, encompassing oceanographic, social science and economic perspectives on ocean research and will provide excellent opportunities to gain insight into the latest oceanographic research through theme sessions, key note speakers and workshops.  Also it will be the opportunity to review progress made in ocean science in the last twenty years, and plan ahead in light of important policy developments such as The Future We Want (UNCSD Rio+20) and Future Earth.

The IORC will demonstrate the breadth and global impact of ocean research and its fascinating contributions in terms of new knowledge on pressing issues, including climate change, ocean governance and capacity building.

The oral presentations will be structured in three topics:

  1. Building Scientific Knowledge. Marine research and observations for climate, ecosystem functioning and security
  2. Applying knowledge for societal benefit: Achieving ecosystem management and sustainability
  3. Improving governance and building capacities

The deadline for the submission of abstracts for this conference has been extended to the 30th June.  Conditions for submission are as follows:

  • Abstracts should pertain to one of the topics or sessions detailed in  “Thematic sessions”.
  • They must be written in English and submitted via the website.
  • Abstracts will be evaluated by the International Scientific Committee on the basis of technical quality and relevance to the topics.
  • Depending on time constraints and allocations, abstracts submitted for oral presentation could be accepted as posters.
  • Abstracts must refer to one theme only.
  • The registration fee must be paid at the time of submission.

logo IORCKey information:

Abstract submission deadline: 30 June 2014
Conference: 17-21 November 2014
Workshops: Sunday 16 November 2014
Poster Sessions: Monday 17 November & Wednesday 19 November 2014

Regular Fee (15 March onwards): 175 €

Social Events:
Welcome Reception: Sunday 16 November 2014
Blue Cocktail Evening: Thursday 20 November 2014

Blue Growth: Unlocking the potential of the Seas and Oceans

Today, 26th June, sees the closing date of the first call under Horison2020 related to the topic of Blue Growth.  A number of the calls closing today are in actual fact CSAs, however amongst this is the interesting call for supporting the Atlantic Ocean Cooperation Research Alliance.

Since its launch last year in May 2013, through the Galway Statement, we did not get to hear much more about this Alliance between Canada, the US and the European Union.  The goal of this partnership is to work together in order to better understand and “increase our knowledge of the Atlantic Ocean and its dynamic systems – including interlinks with the portion of the Arctic region that borders the Atlantic” and to promote the sustainable management of its resources.

So this call, may be the impetus for more work to be done in relation to this cooperation.  In fact this H2020 call, totaling €15M, aims at addressing the following priority areas in an integrated way:

(i) Marine ecosystem-approach;

(ii) Observing systems;

(ii) Marine biotechnology;

(iii) Aquaculture;

(iv) Ocean literacy – engaging with society;

(v) seabed and benthic habitat mapping.

It is expected that this investment into research and also into the Alliance should bring about long term knowledge sharing that has also commercial potential for the EU in the Blue economy.  We wait and see the outcomes of this call once evaluated and more importantly when implemented.

US Canada EU 2007
The Atlantic Ocean Cooperation Research Alliance.


New research ventures at IBW PAN Coastal Research Station (CRS) in Lubiatowo (communiqué of 16th June 2014)

Recently, a new survey has been commenced at the IBW PAN Coastal Research Station (CRS) in Lubiatowo (south Baltic Sea, Poland). Two additional wave buoys (one possessed by IBW PAN and one obtained from the Institute of River and Coastal Engineering of the Hamburg University of Technology for conducting joint research) have been deployed in the coastal waters so that there are now in total three Directional Waverider buoys (produced by Datawell BV, the Netherlands), moored in the close vicinity of each other. The set of devices, consisting of two buoys DWR-7 Mk. III and one buoy DWR-9 Mk. II (see Fig. 1), is located at the depth of 18 m, about 1.5 nm from the shoreline. The buoys are moored at distances of ca. 150 m from each other, on the direction WNW-ESE.

The investigations, carried out within a research project entitled “The study on formation mechanisms of extreme waves and wave events”, funded by the National Science Centre (NCN, Poland), are aimed at synchronized recording of waves, in order to understand the origin and physics of extreme waves. The multi-point measurement system recording waves approaching from different directions allows the separation of the progressive waves from the temporary effects of waves’ concentration.

Buoys at IBWPAN
Fig. 1. Directional Waverider buoys DWR-7 Mk. III (left) and DWR-9 Mk. II (right) at IBW PAN headquarters before deployment (28.04.2014)

Knowledge of generation and formation mechanisms of extreme waves and extreme wave events is particularly significant. The main problem in the existing knowledge and current recognition of extreme waves is the fact that the available field wave data come from single-point measuring systems, which cannot allow the separation of the extreme progressive waves from the momentary effects of concentration of waves with different phase velocities. It is still unknown whether the “freak waves” are progressive waves, where for example dispersion is balanced by the specific shape of the wave and nonlinear effects, or these are mostly temporary effects of concentration of waves with different velocities. This information is essential for the theoretical model of this phenomenon.

In addition, four nearshore string wave gauges and an electromagnetic current meter (see the exemplary measuring stations in Fig. 2) have just been installed at CRS Lubiatowo. This survey, carried out within the other Polish national (also NCN-funded) project, is focused on the identification of infragravity waves (such as e.g. edge waves), being the specific wave motion close to the shoreline, in shallow-water regions. These waves have periods of a few minutes and accompany the typical shallow-water gravity waves (with periods of several seconds). It is of particular interest to find out what the parameters of the infragravity waves are and in which conditions (defined by the offshore wave parameters) these waves occur. Results of these field investigations will be helpful in testing and further development of theoretical models describing generation and features of the infragravity waves.

Olympus digital camera
Fig. 2. Nearshore wave measuring station (left) and wave-current measuring station (right) at CRS Lubiatowo (26.05.2014)

An EU maritime security strategy

The introduction to the Joint Communication addressed to the European Parliament and the Council says it all about Europe’s maritime significance:

An EU maritime security strategy.jpg“Europe’s maritime interests are fundamentally linked to the well-being, prosperity and security of its citizens and communities. Some 90% of the EU’s external trade and 40% of its internal trade is transported by sea. The EU is the third largest importer and the fifth global producer of fisheries and aquaculture. More than 400 million passengers pass through EU ports each year. It depends on open, safe seas and oceans for free trade, transport, tourism, ecological diversity, and for economic development. Failing to protect against a wide array of maritime threats and risks may result in the seas and oceans becoming arenas for international conflicts, terrorism or organised crime.”

Currently undergoing the consultation process within the EU, this this joint communication presents a vision of the Union’s maritime security interests and threats, and proposes the areas in which cooperation between various maritime players can be enhanced beyond what is already good practice today. It encompasses all maritime functions, from coastguards to navies, port authorities and customs duty officers and would affect the EU waters as well as each ship sailing under an EU Member State flag and have a global reach. This document serve as a basis for the work with Member States towards a full-fledged EU maritime security strategy.

The purpose of the new strategy is to identify the maritime interests of the EU such as prevention of conflicts, protection of critical infrastructure, effective control of external borders, the protection of the global trade support chain and the prevention of illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing. It spells out the multitude of risks and threats the EU and its citizens may be confronted with: territorial maritime disputes, maritime piracy, terrorism against ships and ports or other critical infrastructure, organised sea-borne crime and trafficking up to potential impacts of natural disasters or extreme events.

An EU maritime security strategy would facilitate a strategic, cross-sectoral approach to maritime security, without seeking to create new structures, programmes or legislation, but instead striving to build upon and strengthen existing achievements, at the same time ensuring consistency with existing EU policies.

The purpose of this strategy would be achieved by pursuing the following four strategic objectives:

–      make best use of existing capabilities at national and European level;

–      promote effective and credible partnerships in the global maritime domain;

–      promote cost efficiency;

–      enhance solidarity among Member States.

Click here for more information

Opportunity for transnational access to FixO3 network observatories

This opportunity comes from the Europe-funded Fixed-point Open Ocean Observatory network (FixO³) project, coordinated by the UK’s National Oceanography Centre (NOC). As part of this initiative private companies and research institutions working on marine technology or wanting to conduct scientific research, have the opportunity to apply for access to one or more observatories and receive full scientific and technological support.

The FixO³ project started in September 2013 with a European Commission (EC) funded grant of €7m. It is a four-year project with 29 European partners from academia, research institutions and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The project aims to integrate all infrastructures operated by European organizations and to enable continuity in ocean observations. It also aims to improve access for the wider community to these key installations and the data products and services.

Transnational access

The FixO3 project’s ‘Transnational Access (TNA)’ initiative is about supporting external scientific users with coordinated, free-of-charge access and includes 14 ocean observatories in the open ocean and one shallow water test site in the Western Mediterranean Sea available for access by successful applicants.

Observatory locations range from the polar regions of the Antarctic and Arctic, to the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea with a choice of seafloor, mid-water and surface infrastructures with varying scientific focus due to each location’s characteristics.                

These observatories were selected as they offer the broadest scientific and technological capabilities for multidisciplinary observations such as atmosphere-ocean interactions at the sea surface and processes in the water column and ocean floor. Gliders are also available for some of the sites. The observatories address a wide range of disciplines such as biology, biogeochemistry, chemistry, physics and geology.

Each of these open ocean observatories is in a key region which has been identified by the European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and Water Column Observatory ( as a critical area for environmental monitoring.

Call for proposals

The call for proposals will open in mid-June and close before the end of July. Applicants are encouraged to start working on their proposals as soon as possible as they need to contact the observatory manager of the preferred FixO³ location for a pre-feasibility evaluation of their project and a letter of support prior to submitting the proposal. Applicants also need to write a short research proposal explaining the reasons why they would like to use one of the observatories offered under TNA.

OBSEA-3 the observatory OBSEA operated
OBSEA-3 the observatory OBSEA operated by UPC Universidad Politecninca de Catalunya courtesy of Joaquin Del Rio

The proposals will be evaluated by a panel of experts, based on scientific merit, technical quality and the novelty of the proposed activities. The selection process will start as soon as the FixO3TNA Office closes the first call in July and successful applications will be decided by the end of the year.

User groups, particularly those working in countries where no similar research infrastructure exists or with no prior experience of accessing similar infrastructure, are encouraged to apply and will have extensive support during proposal preparation and subsequently if funded.

The TNA is a unique opportunity for scientists and engineers to access high-quality, interlinked instrumented infrastructures operating in open ocean observatories in order to carry out research and/or to test equipment.

For more information please visit; email the FixO3 TNA office at or email the FixO3 Project Manager at

Climate Change, Understanding the Challenge Summer School 2014

The BC3 Summer School is organized in collaboration with the University of the Basque Country and is a high quality and excellent summer course gathering leading experts in the field and students from top universities and research centres worldwide.

The BC3 Summer School will continue with the multidisciplinary approach. The structure of the school will follow the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) general meetings, with three main sessions that coincide with the subjects of the three IPCC Working Groups: climate science, adaptation and impact and mitigation of climate change. During 2013 the IPCC science report has been published and the remaining two will be out during 2014. We will have each day at least one IPCC scientist talking in each of these sections. Thus, we expect to have a scientist from (IPCC-WG1), Anil Markandya (BC3; IPCC-WG2) and Xavier Labandeira (Univ. Vigo; IPCC-WG3) who will give an overview on their field. Then, different speakers will try to cover all the current key issues in climate change such as: artic sea ice, ocean circulation, see level rise, impacts on water, food and health, mitigation options, climate policy and economic instruments.

The school is open to Master students, PhD students, postdoctoral fellows and other researchers as well as policy makers interested in acquiring a deep understanding of climate change and the policies designed to fight it.

PhD students and postdoctoral participants will have the opportunity to present their work in a specific poster session and get feedback from the faculty.

Summer School 2014

Jellyfish? Man or woman? Some facts about Portuguese Man of War Edit

Ever since the first death by a Portuguese Man of War has been reported in the Mediterranean in 2010 (in Sardinia) more and more people especially in the med got curious about this jellyfish.  Ah no, first misconception, the Portuguese Man of War is not a jellyfish but rather a marine phylum, it differs from a jellyfish in so far as it is not actually a single multicellular organism but a colonial organism made up of many highly specialized minute individuals called zooids.

Physalia physalis

It lends its name from the 18th-century warship man-of-war, and the phylum’s supposed resemblance to the Portuguese version at full sail. In Australia it is known as bluebottle for its gas-filled bladder that is seen at the ocean service.

We call it “man” but the Portuguese man of war has no gender it is dioecious, its gametes are released into the sea and then fertilized externally, fertilised eggs then undergo gastrulation.

Is it lethal? Well there are few deaths attributed to the Portuguese man of war and only one in the Mediterranean.  Potentially these deaths relate to a severe allergic reaction to the venom.  However they do sting tremendously and cause severe pain.

If stung, do not treat like a jellyfish, that is pour vinegar on the sting as this makes it worse.  Rather apply salt water to the affected area (not fresh water, which tends to make the affected area worse) and follow up with the application of hot water (45°C) to the affected area from 15 to 20 minutes, which eases the pain of a sting by denaturing the toxins.

Since the Portuguese man o’ war has no means of propulsion, it is moved by a combination of winds, currents, and tides. Although it can be found anywhere in the open ocean (especially warm water seas), it is most commonly found in the tropical and subtropical regions of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans. However we now see it more in the Mediterranean due to the changes in sea temperature.


Slaughter RJ, Beasley DM, Lambie BS, Schep LJ (2009). “New Zealand’s venomous creatures”. N. Z. Med. J. 122 (1290): 83–97.

Yoshimoto, C.M., and Yanagihara, A.A. Cnidarian (coelenterate) envenomations in Hawai’i improve following heat application. Transactions of the Royal Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 96, 300–303, 2002.



2014 Jerico Summer School announcement

The topic of this summer school is “From data to decisions”. We aim to cover the entire marine and coastal information cycle from data gathering via data management, data dissemination, data analysis, data assimilation to data-based policy decisions for MSFD purposes. Please refer to the wiki for updates to this overall programme:

1 day: dissemination: EMODnet backbones: EurOBIS/ICES, EuroGOOS, MyOcean and SeaDataNet

1 day: data analysis: with DIVA (variational analysis) or DINEOF

1 day: data assimilation: introduction with OpenDA

1 day: making information: MSFD, web processing service, EMECO, data analysis tools communities

1 day: data management: interoperability standards (OGC, ISO, INSPIRE), versions, doi, catalogues

Summer School 2014Field visit and demo Sand Engine coastal observatory: HF Radar, Argus camera, jetski with sonar.Field visit and demo Sand Engine coastal observatory: HF Radar, Argus camera, jetski with sonar.

The target group is 30 early career scientists plus scientifically oriented early career marine spatial planners (MSP). Students are expected to arrange for their own funding for travel and lodging. We arranged for affordable lodging (300 € for 7 nights) in the beach resort near a coastal observatory.

The official form for admission has been finalized and is now available via the wiki  site It contains a bullet list with the required supplementary documents (CV, letter of recommendation, covering letter).

Deadline for registration: 7 April 09:00 CET (Monday)

Notification for admission: 23 April 23:59 CET (Wednesday).

Please mind timely visa procedures.

For more information please refer to:


Scholarships for postgraduate Course in Applied Oceanography – Malta

In October 2014, the Physical Oceanography Unit of the IOI-Malta Operational Centre at the University of Malta will be offering a new Master course in Applied Oceanography. This will be open to both local and foreign students with a post-graduate degree. An international faculty of experts will be participating in delivering the course.  Scholarships to attend this course are also available for students with high academic records relevant to the course.

msc picture

Application deadlines for scholarships:  

  • 31st March 2014 (Foreign applicants)
  • 30th April 2014 (Local applicants)

The course builds on the core principles of oceanography in coastal and open sea domains, with a focus on operational oceanography and the versatile and broad spectrum of disciplines and offshoot applications related to it. The primary aim is to train students and professionals on state-of-the-art methodologies and tools to measure, understand and predict the marine environment, and derive sustained benefits from the sea. It is elaborated over a course programme spanning and merging the scientific, technical and applicative aspects of oceanography to offer students a wide-ranging integrated approach, linking science to management, putting technology at the service of users and stakeholders, and providing tools and training for more efficient service oriented applications.  

The course modules:

  • Scientific Baseline of Oceanography
  • Practical Baseline of Oceanography
  • Essentials of Operational Oceanography
  • Data Resources in Oceanography
  • Boot Camp – Field survey and hands-on marine data analysis
  • Principles of Ocean Governance
  • Applications and Services deriving from Operational Oceanography

Job Opportunities include:

  • Marine impact assessment and specialized analysis of environmental risks
  • Research fields in oceanography and the marine environment
  • Management of coastal/marine resources
  • Marine-related industries, services and economic activities
  • Policy-making and governance
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Marine observations and forecasting
  • Data mining, management, quality control and archival 

For more information on the course please visit:

For more information on the scholarships please go to:

Email: Please login or register to view contact information.

2014 Jerico Summer School announcement

The FP7 project JERICO will organise a 2nd summer school after the successful 2013 one held in Malta. The date has been set for the 14-20 June 2014 (Saturday – Friday) and the location will be around The Hague and Delft, in the Netherlands.

The preliminary title of this summer school is “From data to decisions”. We aim to cover the entire marine and coastal information cycle from data gathering via data management, data dissemination, data analysis, data assimilation to data-based policy decisions. 

The target group is 30 early career scientists plus scientifically oriented early career marine spatial planners (MSP). Students are expected to arrange for their own funding for travel and lodging. The JERICO team is currently agreeing on selection criteria for participation, which will include a support letter from a senior scientist you work with, your CV and a letter explaining what you expect/want to learn from the JERICO community, and what specific expertise you can offer to the JERICO community.

For more information please refer to:

2014 Jerico Summer School announcement

Microplastics Make Marine Worms Sick

Tiny bits of plastic trash could spell big trouble for marine life, starting with the worms, say a team of researchers from Plymouth University and the University of Exeter who report their evidence in a pair of studies in the Cell Press journal Current Biology

PlasticThose marine worms play a key ecological role as an important source of food for other animals. Work by Stephanie Wright from the University of Exeter found that if ocean sediments are heavily contaminated with microplastics, marine lugworms eat less and their energy levels suffer. 

A separate report, from Mark Anthony Browne on work performed at Plymouth University, shows that ingesting microplastic can also reduce the health of lugworms by delivering harmful chemicals, including hydrocarbons, antimicrobials, and flame retardants, to them.

Read full article here:

7th EuroGOOS Conference: Operational Oceanography for Sustainable Blue Growth

The EuroGOOS association together with the collaboration of the Instituto Hidrografico in Portugal will be organizing the EuroGOOS conference in Lisbon, Portugal between the 28th and 30th of October 2014. This conference is usually organized every 3 years. EuroGOOS association pushes the development of Operational Oceanography in Europe in the framework of UNESCO/IOC InternationalGOOS. The two and a half day conference will make debate between marine scientists and technologists, who develop and review Operational Oceanography, possible. 

The 3 Key Priorities for 2014 will be:

  • Identifying the new operational services and ways of interacting with users;
  • Bringing to light all the difficulties of monitoring and forecasting the biogeochemical state of seas and oceans;
  • Creating new strategies for key European initiatives.

During the conference there will be discussions regarding the satisfaction of the end users and the support given to blue growth, a presentation of the capabilities of Copernicus Marine Service: moving towards a European Centre of Monitoring and Forecasting as well as towards a European Ocean Observing System will be given. Finally the topic of Ocean Modeling will be tackled with regards to extending and improving predictability. 

The conference will also include plenary, splinter, poster and round table sessions. At the end of the meeting there will be a summarization of the main outcome. Those interested are invited to submit the abstracts of their presentations and the full papers will be published in the EuroGOOS conference proceeding series. The second call for abstracts will be in January 2014.

For more information please use the details below.

Email:Please login or register to view contact information.


7th EuroGOOS conference

Towards a healthy Baltic Sea – HELCOM in a nutshell

Article Author: Kinga Polynczuk     Photo by: Samuli Korpinen

Since its establishment nearly 40 years ago, HELCOM (Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission) has been committed to protecting the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution through intergovernmental cooperation. HELCOM is the governing body of the Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area, known as the Helsinki Convention. The Contracting Parties are Denmark, Estonia, the European Union, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden. 

HELCOM’s vision for the future is a healthy Baltic Sea environment with diverse biological components functioning in balance, resulting in a good ecological status and supporting a wide range of sustainable economic and social activities. To achieve this goal, HELCOM is active in a variety of fields that are central to cross-sectorial protection of the marine environment. HELCOM acts as a regional information hub, coordinating monitoring and compiling scientific results to support informed decision-making by the Contracting Parties. 

All the HELCOM publications are available online. 

The overarching Baltic Sea Action Plan

A central operational programme of HELCOM is the Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP), designed for restoring the good ecological status of the Baltic marine environment by 2021. The strategy, adopted by all the coastal states and the EU in 2007 at the HELCOM Ministerial Meeting in Krakow, is a crucial stepping stone for wider and more efficient actions to combat the continuing deterioration of the marine environment resulting from human activities. Moreover, the Plan provides a concrete basis for HELCOM work and stimulates even closer multilateral cooperation around the Baltic Sea region.

The overarching Baltic Sea Action Plan.jpgCountries have committed to the objectives set in the Action Plan, and the progress made – or lack thereof – is assessed every few years at Ministerial Meetings, the latest of which was held in Copenhagen on 3 October 2013 (Ministerial Declaration). To facilitate the evaluation of the progress on the Action Plan implementation, HELCOM produced and released a range of new assessments and reports, “Eutrophication status of the Baltic Sea 2007-2011.A concise thematic assessment” being one of them.

Tackling eutrophication by exceptional nutrient reduction scheme

Eutrophication is one of the main threats to the Baltic Sea ecosystem, and the latest eutrophication assessment results underscore the need for further HELCOM work, revealing how much is yet to be done to reach a good environmental status of the Baltic Sea. According to the assessment, despite the measures already taken to reduce external inputs of nitrogen and phosphorus, nearly the entire sea area is still affected by eutrophication with the exception of the Bothnian Bay. 

The HELCOM nutrient reduction scheme, exceptional worldwide, was established with the 2007 Baltic Sea Action Plan to tackle the problem of eutrophication. The country-wise nutrient reduction targets of the scheme have been revised using improved data and models, and new figures were agreed on by the Ministerial Meeting 2013. Although substantial measures have already been taken to reduce nutrient pollution, it will take time before the effects of the measures can be seen at sea. As pointed out in the recently released climate change assessment, the Baltic Sea region is warming faster than the Earth as a whole, and this is expected to affect precipitation patterns in the region and hence also affect input of nutrients to the sea, possibly requiring even more stringent measures in the future.  

More information about HELCOM, its activities and the Baltic Sea Action Plan can be found on the renewed website:

The new US IOOS Data Quality Control manual

February 2012 marked the establishment of the Quality Assurance for Real Time Oceanographic Data (QARTOD) project. The objective of this project was to regulate and make sure that a systematic process was used when using procedures for quality assurance and control in the observation of oceanic data. NOAA’s National Data Buoy Centre collaborated in this project as well. Together they are designing manuals each providing a checklist of QC tests for the collection of real time information that includes steps for the control of sensors as wellas those for collected data that are imperative for accurate data collection. Each test is very user friendly and the manual provides QA best practices in the manual’s appendix. These publications are of great aid for those in the ocean observing community, who in return helped in writing the manuals.

The latest manual published, Temperature and Salinity, the fourth publication from the US IOOS QARTOD can be downloaded from Another manual about Water Level will be published soon after.

To see what has been published up till now and what will be published please go to the website:


Data Manual Article

Seafood pathogen spreads to East coast of USA and Europe

During the summer of 2012 two separate shellfish-associated outbreaks of illness in humans occurred in New York and Northwest Spain. Both outbreaks were caused by a bacterium called Vibrio parahaemolyticus, a bacterium common in marine and estuarine environments.  Previously, Vibrio parahaemolyticus serotypes O4:K12 and O4:KUT (termed Pacific Northwest or ‘PNW’ strains) were considered unique to the Pacific Northwest region, but have subsequently been identified in the Atlantic, according to an article published in the Oct. 17 issue the New England Journal of Medicine

The study, led by scientists from Cefas, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and its American counterpart (CDC), and the USA’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) demonstrated that the strains causing near simultaneous outbreaks on both sides of the Atlantic appear to be identical, a finding never seen before. Vibrio parahaemolyticusinfections are rare in Europe but the two 2012 outbreaks suggest the potential global movement of these bacteria, which could be significant from a public health perspective.  The PNW Vibrio strains appear to be particularly virulent at much lower doses, compared to other pathogenic variants. These strains are genetically and biochemically distinct, with a unique “finger print”. Pathogenic strains normally carry one of two virulent genes (referred to as tdh+ and trh+) and very rarely carry both genes. The 2012 analysed strains contained various combinations of both of these genes – something never seen before in Europe.  Current work involves the analysis of isolated strains from European water and shellfish samples (see inset) to determine if these pathogens have persisted into 2013.

Figure legend
Figure legend: Vibrio strains grown on selective media – yellow colonies, Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of cholera, and green, Vibrio parahaemolyticus the pathogen responsible for the 2012 Atlantic outbreaks.


JERICO TNA sampling polar organic chemicals in marine water with organic –diffusive gradient in thin-film (o-DGT)

Chang’er Chen, Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, UK.

This experiment under JERICO TNA started on 11th September, 2013 with the ferrybox together with the ‘Chem-Mariner’ unit in the ferry of Color Fantasy travels between Oslo (Norway) and Kiel (Germany) and with the fix station in Cuxhaven in Germany. The experiment is planned to end in the middle of October, 2013.

Figure-1 Deployment in Ferrybox (Color Fantasy Oslo-Kiel)

The experiment is supported/collaborated with Kai Sorensen from NIVA for the Ferrybox and Daniel Proefrock/Wilhelm Petersen from HZG. The purpose of the research is to test the novel passive water sampler – diffusive gradient in thin-film for organics (o-DGT) for in situ measurement of polar organic chemicals in marine environment and investigate the contaminants distribution in the area covered by the color line (Oslo to Kiel) (Figure 1) and in the fix station at Cuxhaven (Figure 2). Another passive sampler – ceramic dosimeter was also co-deployed in order to compare.

Figure-2 Deployment in Cuxhaven, Germany

The samplers will be retrieved by the colleagues from NIVA and HZG, respectively, after about every week following the deployment. After retrieving all the samplers after 4 weeks, the samplers will be extracted and subsequently analyzed for polar organic chemicals, mainly antibiotics. 

JERICO Workshop WP10

Date: 16-18 October 2013

Location: Observatoire Océanologique de Villefranche/Mer

Organisers: P.Farcy (IFREMER Brest France), G.Nolan (Marine Institute Galway Ireland), L.Coppola (CNRS LOV France)

In the framework of JERICO, a workshop will be organised on the main results of WP10 to date.

WP10 objectives are to examine the extent to which existing technologies can be improved and/or adapted to the benefit of coastal operational oceanography and to document and test emerging technologies that will underpin future operational oceanographic systems in Europe’s coastal seas. The work package is sub-divided into tasks including:

  • New tools and strategies for monitoring key biological compartments and processes
  • Development of new physico-chemical sensors.
  • Use of emerging profiling technologies for coastal seas.
  • Increased use of ships of opportunity in making coastal oceanographic measurements. Best practices in coastal observatory implementation.

Download the programme of this workshop below.

Icon of JERICO-WP10-Worskhop-2013 JERICO-WP10-Worskhop-2013 (111.5 KiB)

GESEBB glider Mission of the First TNA call of JERICO

July 4th, 2013: JERICO TNA GESEBB glider Mission started in front of Cape Matxitxako, in the southeastern Bay of Biscay.

July 5th, 2013: Mission temporary suspended due to a leak occurred inside the digifin that run inside the cables of the antennas; glider was safely recovered near the deployment position.

July 23rd,2013: Re-start of the GESSEB glider mission.

Figure 1. CAMPE glider at AZTI-Tecnalia research centre in Pasaia (Spain)
Figure 1. CAMPE glider at AZTI-Tecnalia research centre in Pasaia (Spain)

 The GESEBB glider mission ( of the first TNA call of Jerico re-started on 23 July, 2013 The deep glider mission will cover the southeastern Bay of Biscay (from 43N to 45ºN and from 2.5ºW to 4.5ºW), during 2 months (until end of September 2013). During approximately 12 days, the glider will first perform two exploratory transects, covering a distance of 300 km approximately from the sea surface to a maximum depth of 1000 m. After that and depending on the observations, the rest of the campaign (48 days) will be redefined.

CAMPE is a Slocum-1000 type glider; it is part of the fleet operated by the INSU-CNRS (La Seyne-sur-Mer (France); It is equipped with a CTD (conductivity, temperature and pressure), dissolved oxygen, and fluorescence-turbidity sensors. Data measured will be transmitted via Iridium in order to check the overall status of the instruments (sensors, battery…) and the navigation behaviour, and to send the scientific measurements. Real time data transmission will be done at every surfacing event, at least every 4 hours. The glider track and its near real time position can be checked in the EGO-network webpage

Figure 2. Caption of the EGO-network webpage.
Figure 2. Caption of the EGO-network webpage.

In addition, in the EGO-network the measurements and technical information of the glider are continuously updated (

The objective of the mission is sampling the characteristics of a mesoscale eddy that appears in the southeastern Bay of Biscay, during spring and summer. The origin of this structure is associated with the strength and extension of a winter warm flow on the cantabrian slope. Since this eddy is retained in the study area during months, it is expected that during July-August 2013 it will be close to the position observed in the previous figures. The following map shows the location of this structure on 8 July 2008. The purple arrows represent transects first proposed for the mission.

Figure 3. Sea surface temperature map
Figure 3. Sea surface temperature map of the study area on 8 July 2008, with geostrophic currents (black arrows) and the trajectory of a drifter located area during that date (white arrow).

Since a previous monitoring of this structure doesn’t ensure the presence of this type of anticyclonic eddy in the area, and as stated before, the mission will start with 2 exploratory transects. The campaign has begun in the Matxitxako offshore buoy (WP0: 43.6ºN 2.69ºW). This buoy belonging to Meteorology and Emergencies Directorate of the Basque Government ( is equipped with a chain of CTD and a downward looking ADCP (interesting for data inter-comparison). Finally, in parallel to the glider mission 2 drifting buoys will be deployed in the centre of the eddy. These drifters will have a holey sock drogue centred at 50 m depth. The position will be transferred by an ARGOS localisation system. These drifters will be deployed by means of one vessel of the Spanish Maritime Safety Agency (SASEMAR: 

Figure 4. (Left) Sea surface temperature map of the study area on 19 July 2013, with geostrophic currents (black arrows) and the waypoints and first two transects of the mission (black lines). (Right) Chlorophyll-a map of the study area on 18 July 2013, with geostrophic currents (black arrows) and the waypoints and first two transects of the mission
Figure 4. (Left) Sea surface temperature map of the study area on 19 July 2013, with geostrophic currents (black arrows) and the waypoints and first two transects of the mission (black lines). (Right) Chlorophyll-a map of the study area on 18 July 2013, with geostrophic currents (black arrows) and the waypoints and first two transects of the mission

The experiment will permit to know in detail the vertical structure of the eddy and its evolution during the two months of the campaign. If the stationary eddy is not sampled, both because it has not been developed or because we are not able to locate it correctly from remote sensing maps, the campaign will permit to sample in detail the vertical structure of the water column (stratification, thermocline…) over the shelf-slope area in a period which is especially interesting regarding the biological cycle of some of the key species for the fishery activity.

Figure 5. (Left) Potential temperature (Right) and Disolved oxigen concentration (Left), of a week of measurement.
Figure 5. (Left) Potential temperature (Right) and Disolved oxigen concentration (Left), of a week of measurement.

By Ainhoa Caballero(1), Anna Rubio(1), Julien Mader(1), Carlos Hernandez(1), Laurent Beguery(2) and Pierre Testor(3). 

  1. Marine Research Division, AZTI-Tecnalia, Pasaia, Spain.

  2. INSU-CNRS, La Seyne-sur-Mer, France.

  3. LOCEAN-IPSL, Paris, France.

Deep Oceans getting warmer

NBC Science News have recently published a news article based on information from Discovery Communications LLC (owners of The Discovery Channel) about the overall warming of the oceans which is happening at an alarming rate.

El Nino in 1998, courtesy NASA

Recently the “global warming” phenomenon has started to be ignored by the general public, given that the prophesised catastrophes have not happened, but this is mostly due to the fact that the seas have been absorbing the extra warmth of the earth’s crust, although this will stop happening at a point in time.

A joint research paper by the National Center for Atmospheric Research in USA and the European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasts based in the UK has brought together diverse data sets of monitoring data captured from sensors in fixed or drifting locations, and also probes put on elephant seals. This study clearly shows that the deeper parts of the oceans are not as cold as they have been, and this causes different weather conditions including winds and phenomenas like El Nino in 1998. (seen in this image, courtesy NASA)

Copyright and Links:

Follow the Glider

Follow the Glider is a web tool aimed at students and developed by CEFAS, IMEDEA (CSIC-UIB) and SOCIB (Balearic Coastal Monitoring and Forecasting System) as part of the European FP7 – JERICO project. It is based on the glider-monitoring tool available at

The aim is to help students from a variety of different grade levels to find out what underwater gliders are and gain awareness of their importance for coastal research. We also strive to enable students to monitor the gliders that SOCIB is currently using in the Balearic coastal area.

To visit the site either go to or click the image below.

Follow the glider

European Marine Board Position Paper 18 on Marine Protected Areas

A newly launched Marine Board Position Paper (number 18) presents key scientific priorities for Marine Protected Areas (MPA) management and calls for the rapid implementation of MPA networks in Europe.

Marine paper
Marine paper

Coinciding with the 2013 European Maritime Day stakeholder conference held in Malta, the paper explains that the establishment of MPAs in Europe is slower on the uptake than the equivalent land based protected areas. Moreover this is unco-ordinated and therefore happens sporadically and in pockets. Networks of such MPAs are needed since long term monitoring programmes will provide key information and data for marine ecosystems.

As human activity in the seas continues to rise, and the exploitation of the oceans continue, the different countries must rise to the challenge together. Integrated ocean observation will be a tool for scientific assessment and also for achieving compliance in MPAs.

The full text of the paper is available for download at

JERICO Biofouling Monitor Program

ISMAR-CNR (Institute of Marine Sciences – Italian National Research Council) developed a special sampling system (Biofouling Monitoring Box – BMB) to be deployed in 12 selected locations in Europe (amongst all JERICO partners) both in coastal and open waters (see Figure 1).

Sampling map

The BMB (see Figure 2) is a monitoring device allowing to study the complexity of biofouling community. It was designed to simulate a wide range of sensors and sensor housing/containers, considering different substrates (metal, glass, plastic), spatial and structural heterogeneity typical of marine sensors immersed in coastal and open waters.

The main aims of this study will be:

  1. characterization of the biofouling community in the different geographic locations;
  2. screening of biofouling on different kind of sensors and identification of critical materials and areas of the instruments as regards the settlement of organisms
  3. deep understanding of biofouling as a technological problem peculiar of each tested material and each selected site, in order to identify the most effective and appropriate antifouling method to protect sensors and their housings from biofouling in each geographical location.
overview of the BMB
Figure 2: Overview of the BMB

White paper on dissolved oxygen measurements: scientific needs and sensors accuracy

The objective here is to review the practical accuracy and the precision of the existing oxygen sensors used in oceanography. The idea is to review all oxygen sensors mounted on fixed and lagrangian platforms (mooring, CTD profiler, glider, ARGO floats) used on coastal observatories. This report synthetizes the past experiences and recommendations for a better use of oxygen sensors in order to improve the quality of the oxygen data for scientific exploitations.

Richness of Mid-Atlantic ridge


Shallow waters close to the coasts are fertile ground for plankton and biological nutrients, allowing for marine life to thrive more. By contrast, in the deeper parts of the ocean, where the sun penetrates less, there is less growth potential. However in the middle of the Atlantic there is a ridge where water is shallower and therefore a potential ‘hotspot’ of biodiversity in marine life. The Plymouth Marine Laboratory has worked in the ECOMAR project with a strong scientific team hailing from 16 research institutes in 8 countries and come up with results to dispel this.

In fact plankton productivity in the mid-Atlantic ridge is no more and no less than in the deeper seas around it.  This was an unexpected outcome and it will help to understand and guide better the issues relating to management of fishing and protection of this area.

Further information on the ECOMAR project and its findings can be found at:

Also of interest is this paper:

The official website of the Plymouth Marine Laboratory is at

40th CIESM Congress – Marseille

The Mediterranean Science Commission formed by over 2,000 marine scientists, based for the large part in research institutes on the shores of the Mediterranean and Black Seas, come together for the 40th time in a Congress in Marseilles between the 28th October and 1st November 2013.

The Commission, with headquarters in Monaco, has grown from the eight founding countries of its origin to 22 Member States today. These support a network of several thousand marine researchers, applying the latest scientific tools to better understand, monitor and protect a fast-changing, highly impacted Mediterranean Sea.

ciesmThe Congress will be split according to the 6 Committees of the Commission that will discuss areas related to:

  • Marine Geosciences
  • Physics & Climate of the Ocean
  • Marine Biogeochemistry
  • Marine Microbiology & Biotechnology
  • Living Resources & Marine Ecosystems
  • Coastal Systems
Online registration is open from the CIESM portal on

JERICO TNA Reference Temperature Calibration (RTC) experiment at the “Centro di Taratura Oceanografica” (CTO) of the OGS in Trieste

February 28th to March 1st, 2013: JERICO TNA “Reference Temperature Calibration (RTC) experiment”

The fourth JERICO TNA experiment took place between the 28th of February and the 1st of March 2013 at the OGS-Oceanographic Calibration Centre (OGS-CTO), the facility for oceanographic testing and calibration of the Department of Oceanography of the OGS (Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale), located in Trieste, Italy. The experiment proposal was submitted by HCMR at the First TNA call of JERICO.

The purpose of the experiment was to acquire expertise, receive guidance, and gain “handson” experience in applying the procedures and Best Practice conventions for the calibration of oceanographic temperature sensors using primary reference standards. The long-term goal is for HCMR to be able to perform such calibrations on its own premises. This is essential in order to ensure the quality of the data collected by the POSEIDON network ( and field surveys performed by HCMR.

figure1. Poseidon buoy networkDuring the last decade HCMR set up the integrated project POSEIDON, a real-time monitoring and forecasting system for the marine environmental conditions in the Aegean Sea. The monitoring network consists of 11 Seawatch oceanographic buoys, equipped with several sensors deployed at multiple depths, and 9 Smart-wave buoys with the capability of online data transmission to the operational centre of HCMR every 3h through the Inmarsat- C satellite or a GSM mobile telephone communication system. The enhanced forecasting component of the system consists of an atmospheric model, an offshore wave model, a general circulation ocean model, a surface pollutant dispersion model and a shallow water wave model.

HCMR has established an in-house calibration laboratory for the evaluation and calibration of its oceanographic sensors and instruments. For the calibration of the temperature sensors, two standard platinum thermometer(s) manufactured by Seabird Electronics, Inc. and a large temperature-controlled bath are employed. However, for proper calibration, the reference standard platinum thermometer(s) should be maintained within specifications by linearization, slope and offset adjustments using primary temperature standards (ITS-90 fixed points). The calibration of oceanographic temperature sensors using primary temperature standards requires expertise, and is a delicate and labour-intensive process, often associated with heavy costs for the operators. The HCMR calibration lab does not currently employ this calibration procedure.

figure-2 The Triple Point of WaterThe OGS-Oceanographic Calibration Centre (OGS-CTO) is the facility for oceanographic testing and calibration of the Department of Oceanography of the OGS (Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale), located in Trieste, Italy. It provides the scientific and technical infrastructure necessary for high-quality observations of the marine environment using procedures that repeatedly meet recognized international standards of excellence. A critical element of the services offered is the ability to calibrate and maintain sea-going instrumentation efficiently. The facility is run applying relevant international guidelines and protocols as much as practically possible in order to assure conformity or, at least, compatibility, with the regulatory standards governing this kind of activity worldwide.

At present, the OGS-CTO provides high-calibre temperature and conductivity calibrations, able to meet the demanding oceanographic measurement specifications for these parameters. It is also capable of performing functional tests, evaluations and validations of instrumentation used for measuring other commonly monitored parameters like turbidity, pH, etc.

The sensors under calibration were two SBE35 Deep Ocean Standards Thermometers (serial numbers 58 and 59) manufactured by Seabird Electronics, Inc. that were purchased by HCMR in 2007. One of them, the one bearing serial number (s/n) 59, had never been used in the field while the other has been employed in HCMR’s evaluation/calibration experiments.


For the linearization procedure, the two sensors were placed in a Hart 7052 Seawater Calibration Bath together with a Metal-sheath SPRT Rosemount model 162 CE for taking reference temperature readings . Seven calibration set-points (28 °C to 2 °C) were chosen, and at each set-point, the bath temperature was logged for 10 minutes. The averaged data of the sensors at the different set-points and the corresponding temperature residuals with respect to the relevant reference temperatures are presented in Figure 5.

figure-5 The temperature residuals of the two SBE Deep Ocean Standards Thermometers

The data showed that neither of the two sensors required any changes in their linearization coefficients at the present time.

Subsequently, the slope and offset terms of the two sensors were evaluated one at a time at the Triple Point of Water (TPW) and the Melting Point of Gallium (MPGa) using appropriate, certified ITS-90 fixed point cells.

figure-6. SBE thermometers loggong at the Triple Point of Water

The results indicated that the slope and the offset of one of the the units, specifically, s/n 58 had slightly changed since its last calibration (Table 1), and the experimental data was used to recompute a new slope and offset.


The performances of this unit with its “as received” and new slope and offset settings have been compared using the data from the linearization testing in Figure 7.


Both of the calibrated SBE 35 units will be used as reference sensors for temperature in the calibration laboratory of the HCMR at its facilities in Thalassokosmos in Crete (Greece).

figure-8 The OGS and HCMR teams after the experiments

by Manolis Ntoumas (1), Rajesh Nair(2) , Nevio Medeot(2) , Fotis Pantazoglou(1) ,George Petihakis (1)

  1. Hellenic Center for Marine Research, ,HCMR,Heraklion, Crete, Greece.
  2. Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale,OGS,Trieste,Italy


Open source for BFM model

Bologna University (UNIBO), the National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics (OGS) and the Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Climatic Change (CMCC) joined forces to develop, use and disseminate an open source  marine biogeochemical numerical model fully usable in coupled mode with ocean general circulation models.

The model is the BFM (Biogeochemical Flux Model). In order to develop and promote its use by the largest possible audience, the three institutions formed a consortium aimed to improve, manage and distribute the model.

Jointly with the official opening of the BFM web site, the consortium invite the marine science community to attend a “BFM official release meeting” that will be held on March 19 2013 at the CMCC premises in Bologna.

The aim of the meeting is to illustrate the model characteristics, provide highlights about the underlying theory and assumptions adopted to describe and simulate the marine biogeochemical cycling, the technicalities of the computer code and explore the possibilities for increasing the users audience and the potential Consortium Members.

We encourage the interested community to participate.

Attached you find the meeting announcement,  Agenda and  also some logistic information.

If you are willing to participate, please inform to facilitate organisation.

Logistics information729.4 KiB
Agenda BFM event V2609.0 KiB
Announcement of Event355.7 KiB


Rising acid levels may make sea sediments more toxic

by Cefas, UK 

A recent report by Cefas scientists found that ocean acidification, caused by climate change, could result in sediments contaminated with metals becoming more toxic and harming the animals that graze on that sediment.

The study looked at crustaceans that feed on the surface of sediments from dredged ports and estuaries.

The crustacean Corophium voluptator

The crustacean Corophium voluptator
The crustacean Corophium voluptator

“The combined effect on these animals, of coping with adapting to climate change as well as increased toxin levels, could prove to be fatal,” said Dave Sheahan, a senior Cefas researcher on the study.

Cefas already monitors dredged sediments from industrialised estuaries for poisonous metals. Such areas are regularly dredged to maintain harbour entrances, and the excess material is tested for toxicity.

In the laboratory, burrowing crustaceans that normally graze on the surface of sediment were placed in a tank with dredged material from one of these sites. The creatures were then exposed to current sea conditions as well as acid levels predicted for the next 50 and 100 years. The animals that survived ten days in these tanks were then tested to see if they incurred DNA damage.

Incubated sediment corers during the experiment

Incubated sediment corers during the experiment
Incubated sediment corers during the experiment

The animals experienced significant DNA damage, which rose with acidification levels, suggesting that when acidification is combined with metals in sediments it can be more harmful. The study also showed, however, that as the toxicity of ingested metals rises, animals are sometimes able to adapt their behaviour to cope with such changes.

Dr Silvana Birchenough, senior benthic ecologist and co-author of the study, described how “initially you can see the distinct burrows they made, but after treatment there was less activity: some species just sat on top without moving much. This showed us how some organisms may be able to move more or less to regulate for these changes. So there could be a trade-off in behaviour.”

The scientists may now find that certain species’ are less tolerant, or even some genotypes within species are better able to tolerate changes. So, over time, species that cope less well may face stiffer competition from groups of animals that are more adaptable.

Cefas will continue to work in this area, focusing on commercially important crustaceans like lobsters and crabs. They will be assessed to see if those creatures are also exposed to contaminated sediments.

Birchenough continued: “There’s a commercial importance on where we think the major exposure routes are. In our study we focused on two aspects: whether contaminated sediments and changes in ocean acidification will affect animals in the marine environment, and whether the tests we do will help us to make a judgement about sediments that we currently deem okay.”

Currently, if toxicity in dredged sediments falls below a predetermined threshold they are considered safe to deposit in the sea. However, rising ocean acid levels may put more stress on animals, on top of the metal toxicity, meaning that current threshold values would need to be changed to make sure all marine animals, including crustaceans, are protected.

Fact File

  • Laboratory tests on the amphipod, Corophium volutator, were conducted to determine whether it would respond to the combined effects of increasing CO2levels and metals.
  • Amphipods were exposed to two test sediments – one with relatively high metals concentrations and control sediment with lower contamination – under conditions that mimic current and projected ocean acidification conditions (390-1140 atm p CO2).
  • The data demonstrated the clear potential for near-future acidification to increase the susceptibility of benthic ecosystems to contaminants. 
  • Paper: Roberts, D A, Birchenough, S N R, Lewis, C, Sanders, M B, Bolam, T and Sheahan, D (2013), Ocean acidification increases the toxicity of contaminated sediments. Global Change Biology, 19: 340-351 (


Bio-geochemical sensors calibration and intercalibration exercise at POSEIDON calibration Laboratory of HCMR in Crete

November 26th, 2012: JERICO TNA “Calibration and inter-calibration exercise of biogeochemical sensors

figure_1. Location of the W1-M3A observatory in the Ligurian Sea

The third JERICO TNA experiment (www.jericofp7. eu) started on Monday November 26th, 2012, with the setup of the instrumentation in the POSEIDON Calibration Laboratory of the Hellenic Center for Marine Research in Heraklion (Crete, Greece).

The experiment was part of a research proposed by CNR to the First TNA call of JERICO.

The main purpose of the experiment was to perform a calibration and an inter-calibration activity of bio-geochemical sensors to be operationally and routinely deployed on offshore marine observatories making part on a continuous basis of the marine monitoring network of the Mediterranean Sea.

The main relapse of this activity has been consisted in an important enhancement of the accuracy of the insitu observations on a long term basis of dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll-a and turbidity in the Ligurian basin (Figure 1) collected by a multiparametric probe installed on the W1-M3A off-shore observing system (Figure 2, 3).

The W1-M3A off-shore observing system is moored in the Ligurian-Provencal basin that, for its role in the climate and in the circulation of the Mediterranean region, has been object of intense scientific investigation since the sixties. During winter, processes of dense water formation often occur; strong airsea interaction processes greatly affect both atmospheric and marine circulation, determining a strong variability in the upper ocean thermocline; its productivity is very high and its ecosystem very rich and complex. The Ligurian Sea is characterised by a permanent basin-wide cyclonic circulation involving both surface and intermediate waters. More specifically, the waters flowing northwards on both sides of Corsica, theWestern Corsica Current (WCC) and the Tyrrhenian Current (TC), join along the eastern periphery of the basin and form the Ligurian-Provencal Current (LPC), which flows westward along the coast of Provence, completing the cyclonic loop.


It is important to characterize such water masses not only in terms of their physical properties (temperature and salinity) but also for their bio-geochemical properties. However, long term in-situ monitoring of bio-geo-chemical properties of the ocean is challenging, not only due to marine environmental condition that often are consistent with remote sites, corrosion issues and biologically active basins, but also due to the instruments accuracy and precision needed to obtain useful data for processes analysis as well as for assimilation into models. Indeed, the complexity of the ocean seawater comprehensive of several chemical compounds makes difficult to use measurement techniques very common in laboratory.

Nonetheless, the growing interest in the knowledge of ocean interiortogether with the increasing sophistication of autonomous analyzers promote the investigation of processes such as oxygen consumption, primary productivity and ocean acidity that have not been possible to be autonomously measured in the past.

Apart from their undoubted scientific relevance (for process analysis as well as for modeling requirements) some biogeochemical variables can be nowadays measured through non-intrusive and automatic, partially miniaturized, low-power, in-situ sensors. The variability of these processes due to geographical position, seasonal behaviour and concentrations, that sometimes are very low, requires a close attention to the maintenance procedures of the used instrumentation, especially in terms of calibration.

The performed experiment allowed to obtain an extremely accurate laboratory calibration and a test at sea for oxygen and fluorescence sensors. The calibration for the oxygen probes has been carried out in a tank (Figure 4) furnished by an immersion circulator and two aerators. Two SBE43 oxygen sensors were tested together (Figure 5) and Winkler chemical titration served as the reference standard for evaluating performance characteristics.


Five calibration points (at 14°C, 17.7 °C, and 20.2 °C) had been chosen and three samples for each point have been used for the Winkler analysis. During the one day cruise onboard the R/V Philia three water samples were acquired for the evaluation of both oxygen and chl-a parameters. The results showed an underestimation of oxygen probes with respect to the Winkler samples with an average difference of about 0.43 ml/l for the laboratory test and 0.49 ml/l for the samples taken at sea (Figure 6).

figure_6 oxygen calibration

The chl-a calibration were performed by means of two reference concentrations of chlorella culture and eight concentration points of uranine solution in laboratory and with water samples at sea. The results showed a good agreement between tests in laboratory and in field and allowed to calculate a new scale factor for the analyzed sensors (Figure 7) that best fit with the in-situ species present in the Mediterranean waters.


The SBE16plus multiparametric CTD with the freshly calibrated sensors will be installed on the W1-M3A observatory in early spring 2013. This will allow to validate the work done in the laboratory. Near real-time data will be shown in the website of the observatory.

  • by Roberto Bozzano(1), George Petihakis(2), Sara Pensieri(1), Tatiana Tsagaraki(2), Manolis Ntoumas(2), Dimitris Podaras(2)
  • National Research Council of Italy, Genoa, Italy.
  • Hellenic Center for Marine Research, Heraklion, Crete, Greece.

Surf’s up! Wave glider trials in the North Sea

by Cefas, UK 

Scientists at Cefas are trialling a clever device that looks like a surf board but packs a wide range of sophisticated instruments to record a variety of marine conditions.

The autonomous wave glider, hired from US firm Liquid Robotics, was deployed off Lowestoft on 30 January. This marks the first time such a device has been tested in the southern North Sea, where tides and currents are strong and shipping is busy.

surf pictureThe 2m-long wave glider is self-propelled by wave action and has the capacity to travel thousands of miles. It is steered remotely from the operations base and has a built-in automatic identification system, which means that it can send alerts with advice to actively avoid shipping.

The suite of systems onboard the device is powered by batteries recharged by solar panels.

Alongside the standard fitments – of weather station, wave height and temperature sensors – the Cefas scientists have added instruments to measure oxygen concentration and saturation, turbidity (water cloudiness), the chlorophyll fluorescence of phytoplankton and salinity. These observations are being recorded by a specially integrated Cefas data logger and data are transmitted to shore via satellite telecommunications in near “real-time”.

During the Cefas trial, which runs to March, the glider will transit north to Cefas’ own Dowsing SmartBuoy site, about 25 miles off the Norfolk and Lincolnshire coasts. There it will make a comparison of the sensors on the wave glider with those on the SmartBuoy. After a few days of monitoring activity, the glider will set off for another SmartBuoy site further south at West Gabbard, 30 miles from the Suffolk and Essex coasts. It will then repeat the same monitoring pattern as at the Dowsing site.

The wave glider travels at around 1.5 knots and will need to cope with strong tides so the 120-mile journey between the two SmartBuoy sites may take several days. Once its work at the Dowsing site is completed, it will turn north and transit back to Lowestoft for recovery (see map).

Wave glider's North Sea route: green line indicates initial transit to first, northern SmartBuoy site (Dowsing); the stars mark SmartBuoy locations; black line shows the trial route
Wave glider’s North Sea route: green line indicates initial transit to first, northern SmartBuoy site (Dowsing); the stars mark SmartBuoy locations; black line shows the trial route


If the Cefas trial is successful there will be long-term benefits in using wave gliders. Not only will there be validation of a range of environmental characteristics, but there opens up the possibility of more collaborative work with neighbouring European states. Shared marine boundaries with neighbouring states have been areas of contention in the past, so a glider could be programmed to sample transboundary waters across the North Sea for bilateral research studies. This could save money and provide improved scientific understanding of the marine environment.

The Impact of Hydro Energy Devices on the surrounding Wildlife

…a Study by UK Scientists 

Hydro energy is a form of renewable energy that can be generated using turbines. FLOWBEC is National Oceanography Centre project whose aim is to monitor the effects of such devises on the surrounding wildlife. This is done at UK test sites, one of which is the tidal energy test area of the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney. Together with an experienced team, researchers from the Universities of Bath and Aberdeen have created two sonar systems on a seabed frame placed within 25 meters of the OpenHydro structure. It observes fish and diving seabirds that pass through and feed from the sea. These sensors, which are now being mounted autonomously, can collect data,that allows imaging of a full ‘acoustic curtain’ in a highly challenging environment. Concurrently EMEC is also working on a project called ReDapt, which is paying for a cabled monitoring pod, including an active sonar system. The knowledge provided from these will directly benefit the industry.

hydro energyThe NOC are also monitoring on and above the sea surface using marine radar, which has been tracking the movement of birds, and marine mammals in the surrounding areas.  James Waggitt PhD an expert on birds from the University of Aberdeen has also been taking part in this monitoring and giving his input on the matter. The researchers will identify the different species and their behaviour including how renewable energy structures affect these species. Through this they hope to understand how various types of marine wildlife will be affected and how they might interact with this technology. The sonar systems used to monitor the EMEC tidal energy test side were set up in June and the first results were presented at the European Conference in Underwater Acoustics in July. These were very highly appreciated by the audience.

The results of the project will be shared and made available to environmental scientists at the end of the project. When all analysis is finalized, the data will clearly indicate to which extent the devices used impact the animals’ behaviours.


Links Between Kuwait and CEFAS, Strengthened

Cefas logoAn agreement was signed by the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and the Kuwait Environment Public Authority (KEPA) to start performing specialist environmental evaluation of Kuwait Waters.  The contract was signed in London in April. This agreement stemmed from a long standing relationship with Kuwait, which dates back to the 1980s, as well as a good track record of delivering to clients in the areas of the Middle East. The agreement requests Cefas to assess and evaluate the environmental situation in Kuwait’s marine and costal areas, since they’ve been impacted by residual waste from industry and sewage.

Dr. Mike Waldock, Cefas’ Chief Executive, is very pleased with this relationship agreement since he esteems KEPA very much. He also believes that due to Cefas expertise, previous assessment and work in the field, these are in fact the perfect candidates for such a project. In fact, Cefas is more than happy to offer its knowledge, expertise and resources so that Kuwait can diminish the aftermath of local pollution on its people and environment. One must realize that most of Kuwait’s urban population resides along the southern coastline of Kuwait Bay, hence, this contamination is impacting the residents at first hand. Furthermore, one must also remember that such contamination in these same waters has happened in the past already. 

Ms. Katherine Kennedy, Coastal and Marine Infrastructure Director and Project leader, has said that the greatest challenge for them is going to be to locate the “footprint of the impact”. She also added that seasonal differences and sediment or water transport will be key factors to enable this identification. However, Cefas has all the required resources to make this work possible. Finally, Ms. Katherine Kennedy said that by working with Kuwait scientist, they hope to enrich their knowledge base as well as equip KEPA with the right resources and information to approach this problem in the best and most feasible manner possible, should such environmental issues arise once more in the future. 

For more information about Cefas and its activities please consult their website:

MyOcean 4U newsletter

logo_myocean2MyOcean, the Ocean Monitoring and Forecasting system of the GMES Marine Service, has just launched a new edition of its newsletter with informative articles and updates on marine environmental monitoring. 

Professionals in the industry will enjoy reading about user workshops, past and upcoming events, online training and also access videos and documents related to all of the above.

The full newsletter can be accessed here:

Symposium on The Future of Operational Oceanography 2013

future‘The Future of Operational Oceanography 2013’ symposium will take place in Hamburg, Germany at the Congress Centre (CCH) from 8-10 October. The meeting will seek to broaden and galvanize the dialogue on new observational and modelling techniques and the subsequent benefits for a range of marine industries. There will be a wide cross-section of topics in which speakers are invited to submit talks and posters.

For further information go to the official website for all information, from the breakdown of topics covered to how to submit an abstract.


Successful JERICO Summer School in Malta

35 participants attended the first JERICO Summer school organised by the Physical Oceanography Unit of the IOI-Malta Operational Centre at the University of Malta between the 8th and 13th July 2013. The young researchers came from all over Europe, including participants from the southern Mediterranean countries and the Black Sea, and hailed from a variety of disciplines.

Successful JERICO Summer School in Malta

The intensive programme on operational oceanography in the 21st century with a focus on the coastal seas featured high level lectures and practical sessions on all aspects revolving around the real-time acquisition and the continuous and sustainable delivery of high quality environmental data and information products related to the marine environment of European coastal seas. Experts discussed data acquisition technology, coastal observatories, data management, numerical modelling techniques,  and the delivery of downstrean services. The participants were able to work hands on using software tools and applications; they also had a taste of putting things into practice with a visit to the CALYPSO HF radar installation in Malta. 

Prof Aldo Drago from the IOI-Malta Institute together with Dr Jo Foden of CEFAS UK spearheaded this effort, but they were aided by the excellent lecturing team that came from Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, UK, France, Cyprus and of course the great technical and logistics team in Malta headed by Mr. Adam Gauci. 

Feedback from all participants – lecturers and students alike – was excellent and this bodes well for the future capacity building endeavours, especially the Master Course in Applied Oceanography ( to be offered by the University of Malta as from next October.

Successful JERICO Summer School in Malta

The school has nurtured the sharing of experiences and best practices between the school participants who have vouched to remain in contact after the course in favour of collaborative joint efforts and contributions to the future of operational oceanography. 

The school was funded by the FP7 JERICO project and sponsored by the International Ocean Institute and the MyOcean project

Icon of D6.3 Milestone20 JericoMaltaSummerSchool Final D6.3 Milestone20 JericoMaltaSummerSchool Final (3.1 MiB)


EEA and EuroGOOS sign partnership agreement

The European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Global Ocean Observation System (EuroGOOS) signed a partnership agreement on April 10th 2013. This agreement focuses on the issues related to marine in situ data.

eea-eurogoosEEA and EuroGOOS sign partnership agreement picture
EEA and EuroGOOS sign partnership agreement

This means that they will work together to create a standard way of accessing data that comes from Regional Ocean Observing System (ROOS), a series of national institutions within the EU Member States, and that is currently made available through data portals.

Marine in situ data is seen as a public good and therefore it should be made open to all and provided free of charge.
All this data will be made available also for the MyOcean2 and the Copernicus Marine Service.
Further information on the EEA can be found at and about EuroGOOS at

M.Sc. in Applied Oceanography – Malta

October 2013 sees the launch of a new challenging M.Sc. course in Applied Oceanography being offered by the Physical Oceanography Unit of the IOI-Malta Operational Centre at the University of Malta.

Prof Aldo Drago – the brains behind this initiative – explained that such a course will provide a new channel for professionals that want to rise to the current challenges being posed in the areas of sustainable development, marine environmental policies, coastal planning and more. 

msc picture


The programme is split into seven distinct study units bringing together legal, socio-economic, scientific and environmental areas together in a coherent way as to give students a holistic approach to the area of applied oceanography. Emphasis will be made on environmental monitoring and surveillance, assessment and mitigation of risks, marine science-based policy development and strategic planning, climate change, sustainable resource exploitation, ocean governance, marine industries and service provision.

This course is ideal for students with a first degree in science, engineering, architecture or computing and also for mid-career professionals already working in this area and wanting to add a new suite of capabilities to their portfolio.

Further information can be obtained from: 

The Ecosystem approach and fisheries

The project ‘Ecosystem approach to fisheries’ (2007-2012) developed and tested methods to support the implementation of an ecosystem approach to fisheries, thus contributing to the evidence base that supports the co-ordination and integration of fisheries and environmental management.

The main objectives were to develop and test linked state and pressure indicators focused on the state of seabed habitats, biodiversity and fish communities (food webs). These were identified in an initial assessment as the system components that were most likely to be impacted unsustainably by fishing.

New models were developed, and existing models modified, to predict

  • how the intensity and distribution of fishing activity affected biomass and production of seabed habitats,
  • how the structure of fish communities and food webs changed with fishing mortality and
  • how the biomass and reproductive potential of sensitive fish species changed with fishing mortality.

New methods for describing the intensity and distribution of fishing activity were also developed, based on the analysis of satellite vessel monitoring system data.  A model of fishing vessel displacement in response to area closure was developed to assess the effect of closed areas on the distribution of fishing activity and the consequences for seabed habitat. 

Ecosystem fishing

The project findings suggested that future work should focus on further defining, developing and testing harmonised assessment and management methods to help meet fisheries and environmental objectives and targets in a transparent, consistent and cost-effective way. 


Jerico Summer School – July 2013, Malta

Don’t miss the opportunity to be part of the first JERICO Summer School to be held between 8th to 13th July in the beautiful island of Malta. Organised by the Physical Oceanography Unit of the IOI-Malta Operational Centre at the University of Malta in collaboration with CEFAS (UK), this event is free of charge and open to young researchers and PhD students with a background in oceanography wishing to expand their knowledge and share experiences. The selected participants are expected to cover their travel, accommodation and subsistence costs, but a number of sponsorships are offered to the right applicants.

Jerico Summer School

Focusing on operational oceanography in coastal domains, attendants to this school will have the opportunity to learn about coastal observatories, data management, numerical modeling techniques and applications. The programme includes hands on sessions. A visit to the HF radar site will be organised.

More information on the school can be obtained from

This summer school is another important effort by the Physical Oceanography institute in Malta to raise the bar in excellence within research areas in  data and information products and services related to the marine environment of European coastal and regional seas. It will also serve as precursor to a Masters Course in Applied Oceanography that the institute is launching next October at the University of Malta.

Secure your place now by sending in the application below.

Important data:

Dates: 8-13 July 2013

Price: free of charge

Location: University of Malta

Deadline for applications: 15 April 2013

Jerico Summer School July 2013, Malta picture


JERICO Malta Summer School Flyer308.8 KiB
JERICO Malta Summer School 2013 Application Form1.2 MiB
JERICO Malta Summer School 2013 Letter Of Recommendation (template)1.2 MiB
JN-Malta-Summer-Course-announcement FINAL With-Links2.9 MiB
JERICO Malta Summer School 2013 Programme326.7 KiB


Malta Summer School Update

The Physical Oceanography Unit of the IOI-Malta Operational Centre at the University of Malta is making the final preparations to hold an international summer course on applied oceanography in the week  8th to 12th July 2013. The planning and coordination of the course is done by Prof. Aldo Drago jointly with the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), and is funded by the FP7 JERICO project with additional support by MyOcean and the International Ocean Institute. 

The JERICO Summer School is a quality professional course with 13 high profile foreign lecturers delivering applied and hands-on expertise in operational oceanography with a focus on coastal domains.  There was a high demand for the course and a record number of 83 applicants worldwide applied. After a lengthy selection process 35 students have been now confirmed to attend. 

Operational oceanography in the coastal seas is the focus of this summer school. 

It will deal with technical and theoretical aspects related to metocean observations, operational monitoring platforms, numerical modelling and forecasting, data quality control and management, data assimilation and assessments, data archiving and dissemination. Other aspects include downstream services, applications and links to a wide range of users. The school will provide participants with an overview of coastal observatories and European operational oceanography, now and in the future. Students will be introduced to state-of-the-art methods and tools of operational oceanography across inter-related disciplines from physics to ecology, and over wide geographic scales.

ss2 picture

They will experience how this links to data acquisition and forecasting systems, and to managing sustainable development for scientific and socio-economic purposes.

Further information on the JERICO Malta Summer School can be accessed

This summer school is a precursor to a Masters Course in Applied Oceanography that the PO-Unit of the University of Malta is launching next October.

European Maritime Day 2013

The 6th edition of the European Maritime Day Conference was held successfully in Valletta, Malta, on May 21 & 22, 2013. It has attracted the attention of the European and the Mediterranean Maritime community with 847 participants who attended the 27 sessions of the Conference. It was organised by the DG for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Commission in partnership with the Maltese Ministry for the Economy, Investment and Small Business, and the Maltese Ministry for Tourism.

The seas and oceans, and the opportunities they offer, were the focus of the event. There were high-level political debates as well as more practical exchanges between maritime stakeholders. Thoughts, ideas and new concepts have been devised during the Conference.



The main theme of the European Maritime Day 2013 Conference was coastal development and sustainable maritime tourism in the wider context of Blue Growth. It was an occasion to reflect, at high level, on how to make Blue Growth happen through sustainable tourism, connectivity and coastal management. A special focus was made on the Mediterranean Region.

In parallel to the political discussions there were also public events happening throughout the islands of Malta and Gozo with a range of educational and entertaining activities including guided tours of a research vessel, swimming and sea angling competitions, sailing and traditional boat rides and much more.

Further information can be found on the official website:

Operational oceanographic products for Irish marine users.

The Marine Institute (MI) in Ireland has developed a capability in operational oceanography since 2003. This has involved increasing the number of places (stations) where we collect oceanographic data on buoys, coastal piers and ships, developing ocean nowcast and forecast models and using satellite images of ocean colour and temperature to observe changes in the surface of the ocean. With this combination of in-situ observations, model forecasts and satellite images we can look at the past, current and future state of the ocean around Ireland by analysing information on ocean temperature, salinity, currents, waves and several biogeochemical variables including chlorophyll, oxygen and turbidity.

But why do we want to know these things in the first place?

Many marine industries rely on the marine environment to generate employment and income. These include having a basic knowledge of the sea conditions (wave heights, sea state, current strength) for ship routing and marine operations, tracking and successfully targeting marine resources (commercial fish, aggregate extraction, ocean energy) and harvesting resources from the sea (aquaculture). Marine leisure users also make use of “oceanographic products” to plan activities in the sea including marine weather forecasting, sea temperatures, wave and tidal conditions. Finally we need to understand the ocean if we are to maintain our seas at Good Environmental Status and if we are to consider the impacts of climate change on Ireland and its people.

For a snapshot of the products that are routinely produced and made available to marine users, see ( ). For more information please contact

Images for oceanboard


Deepwater Horizon, Two Years On

by Jo Foden, Cefas, UK

Deepwater Horizon  (Courtesy of U.S. Coast)
Deepwater Horizon  (Courtesy of U.S. Coast)

What are the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, two years on? For the families of the 11 people who were killed, of course, their tragedy means life will never be the same.  What have been the environmental and economic effects of the oil spill?

It’s been bad news for the deep-water coral communities 1.2 km beneath the Gulf’s surface.  Corals were found with brown flocculent material and showed signs of tissue damage (Science Daily).  It is unusual for such deep-water communities to be affected but this spill occurred at depth.                                                                          

It’s also been bad news for some fish: a small proportion still show signs of diseases related to petroleum and other pollutants.  Those illnesses don’t pose an increased health threat to humans, scientists say, but the problems could be devastating to prized species such as grouper and red snapper. This, then, affects people who make their living catching them.

Whilst the Deepwater Horizon oil spill has undoubtedly caused problems, the one-off event looks modest by comparison to annual pollution from agricultural fertilisers.  The chemical pollution derived mostly from fertilisers that run-off into the mouth of the Mississippi Delta into the Gulf of Mexico has created a dead-zone.  Exceeding 21,000 km2, it is one of the largest dead zones to be found.

There were initial estimates that 22,000 jobs could be lost (Science Daily) but by February 2012 Louisiana’s unemployment rate recovered, to 7%: similar to the pre-spill rate (The Times-Picayune).  So the economic impact has actually turned out to be far less than imagined.  The scale of the long-term effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on society and nature has yet to play out but there are plenty of economists and scientists working hard to document every change, so that we can learn lessons and put in safeguards that help us to minimise damaging effects from future incidents.


Deepwater Horizon: fish still getting sick:

Louisiana’s economic recovery from BP oil spill has been quicker than expected:

JERICO TNA Dissolved Oxygen measurements in the Corsica Channel

location-of-mooring-corsica-channelThe second JERICO TNA experiment ( started on Tuesday November 20th, 2012, with the implementation of automatic Dissolved Oxygen (DO) measurements in the Corsica Channel, Ligurian Sea, Western Mediterranean. The experiment is planned to last for twelve months under the aegis of JERICO TNA and then continue for at least other six months as a collaboration of the Institute of Marine Sciences of the National Research Council of Italy (ISMAR CNR), the Observatoire Oceanographique de Villefranche/Mer  of the French National Center for Scientific Research  (CNRS/OBS-VLFR) and the Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography (MIO). 

The experiment is part of a research proposed by CNRS/OBS-VLFR (P.I. Dr Laurent Coppola) to the First TNA call of JERICO. The purpose of the research is integrating the dissolved oxygen concentration in the long term time series data in the Ligurian basin to track the water mass variability, the impact of the water mass change on the oxygen content and to estimate the time lag between the eastern and the western part of the Ligurian Sea. The Levantine Intermediate Water (LIW) is the warmest and saltiest water resulting from the dense water formation processes occurring in the Mediterranean Sea. This water mass is formed in the Levantine basin and circulates from the Eastern basin to the Western basin through the Sicilian Strait. In the Northwestern basin, the Corsica Channel is a strategic site where a branch of the LIW is passing through before reaching the DYFAMED site (cyclonic circulation) and the area of dense water formation. 

corsica-channel-mooringFrom previous time series data, a time lag has been observed in terms of T-S change in the LIW level. To solve this issue, regular and long term oxygen measurements might give a good opportunity to understand and to estimate accurately this time lag. This also gives the possibility to quantify the variability versus anomalies of the LIW property due to the climate change already observed in the Mediterranean Sea. The DYFAMED site (DYF, 2350 m depth), in the western part, and the CORSICA Channel (CC, 445 m depth), in the eastern part, are permanently monitored since 1988 and 1985 respectively to observe the water masses evolution and more specifically the shift of the  LIW properties due to the climate change. 

These observations are done through fixed moorings regularly maintained to record temperature, salinity and currents data. Since 2005 and 2009, the CC and DYF moorings are equipped with precise Seabird SBE37 sensors (0.001°C). Both moorings are maintained every year through annual/semiannual scientific cruises in order to collect T-S data, to clean and to calibrate the sensors and to repair the mooring line. 

sbe16 plus equipped with DO 3975 Aanderaa sensor installed during Eurofleets12 cruise in the CC siteIn summer 2012, the DYFAMED mooring located in the Ligurian Sea between Nice and Calvi has been equipped with two DO sensors (optode 4330F) at 400 m and 2000 m depth (MOOSE-GE cruise). The objective of the TNA activity was to complete the oxygen observation in the Ligurian Sea by implementing a DO sensor on the CC mooring at the core of the LIW water mass (400 m depth). This was done during a maintenance cruise (EUROFLEETS12), performed in November 2012 with the research vessel URANIA of CNR, installing an optical dissolved oxygen sensor (OPTODE 3975 Aanderaa) on the underwater station at 400 m depth. 

In summer 2013 the underwater station will be maintained again and a second sensor (OPTODE 4330 Aanderaa) will be installed at the same position for simultaneous measurements and comparison.

The Oxygen optode is designed to measure absolute oxygen concentration and % saturation. The optode sensor fits to the long term monitoring, as the data drift is very low and the data accuracy higher than other chemical sensor. The optode 3975 Aanderaa is installed on a SBE16 plus probe equipped with alkaline battery and will record the dissolved oxygen concentration every 30 min. This sensor has been calibrated  during the cruise with Winkler titration. The DO sensor will be deployed for 2 periods of 6 months to be consistent with the DYF site (where data are collected every 12 months), and the second period will run together the optode 4330 Aanderaa. The optode 4330 has a time response faster than optode 3975 (less than 25s) with a better accuracy and precision (<8 μmol/l and <1 μmol/l, respectively).

Data will be recovered at each mooring maintenance, when dissolved oxygen concentrations will be also measured by Winkler titration in order to calibrate the automatic DO measurements. This operation is essential in order to check the quality of the DO data acquired by the sensor. After validation, DO data  will be  analysed along with other parameters measured in the site after each period.


During the cruise, additional measurements were carried out, which will be available for completing the study. Those are physical (CTD stations, vessel mounted ADCP, lowered ADCP profiles) and chemical (dissolved oxygen, dissolved inorganic nutrients) measurements. 


A section of Dissolved Oxygen concentration (ml/l) measured during the maintenance cruise EUROFLEET12 on November 20th, 2012, using one of the SBE43 sensors installed on a SBE9plus multiparametric probe.


Millot, C. and Taupier-Letage, I., 2005. Circulation in the Mediterranean Sea. The Handbook ofEnvironmental Chemistry, K, 29 – 66, doi:10.1007/b107143



by Katrin Schroeder(1), Laurent Coppola(2), Mireno Borghini(1), Dominique Lefevre(3),  Stefania Sparnocchia(1)

(1)ISMAR CNR, (2)Observatoire Oceanographique de Villefranche/Mer, (3)Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography

International Conference on Marine Data and Information Systems

imdisThe International Conference on Marine Data and Information Systems of 2013 (IMDIS 2013) will be held in Lucca, Italy on the 23rd till the 25th of September 2013. It aims at providing a general idea of the progresses that have been made in the last years when it comes to the efficient infrastructures for the management of large and various data sets. The sessions will focus on infrastructures, technologies and services for different users: environmental authorities, research, schools, and universities amongst others. The sessions’ topics will be as following:

•    Session 1 Marine information and data management
•    Session 2 Marine environmental data bases
•    Session 3 Data Services in ocean science
•    Session 4 Services for Users and Education

The Conference is organized by ENEA (Italian National agency for new technologies, Energy and sustainable economic development), together with SeaDataNet, IFREMER and IOC/IODE. Due to other events in Lucca in that period, early reservations are advisable (preferably before April 2013).

For those interested in contributing information, the deadline for the submission of posters and papers is the 30th of April 2013. On the other hand for registration or further information access the official website; or send an email on


Jerico TNA First Glider Mission

  • October 23rd, 2012: JERICO TNA first glider mission started in the Balearic Sea.
  • October 30rd, 2012: Mission temporary suspended due to battery problems; glider safely recovered 45 miles East of Menorca. The mission will re-start as soon as possible.
  • January 31st, 2013: Mission re-started. SOCIB’s Seaglider sdeep03 is now heading to Oristano (Sardinia, Italy).


glider_deploymentThe first experiment under JERICO ( TNA started on Tuesday October 23rd, 2012, with a deep glider mission from Minorca to Sardinia in the Western Mediterranean Sea. The mission is planned to end on December 10th, 2012.

The glider is part of the fleet operated by the Balearic Islands Coastal Observing and Forecasting System (SOCIB) and CSIC-IMEDEA (Spain). The glider will follow a route from the East of Minorca to Sardinia along the latitude 39º 49.457’ N and will return to Menorca and Mallorca./p>

During approximately 49 days, the glider will cover a distance of about 380 Km in both directions, acquiring profiles of oceanographic data from the surface to about 1000 m. The glider is equipped with CTD (conductivity, temperature and pressure), oxygen, fluorescence and turbidity sensors.

Data measured will be transmitted through Iridium to verify sensors, sampling and navigation behaviour of the glider. Real time data transmission will be done at least every day (approximately 1 dive transmitted every 4 dives performed) to minimize communication costs and surface time (increasing platform safety). All data will be downloaded by cable once mission ends (delay mode).

The glider track can be followed and is continuously updated using SOCIB Data Centre glider tools ( and

Socib glider web client application

In accordance with the European glider workshop (JERICO/GROOM/EGO) hosted in Mallorca 22-23 May 2012, the real-time tracking data from gliders is available in a standard format, following international conventions (NetCDF) at the SOCIB Thredds discovery catalog ( Also the real time mission data is automatically uploaded to the EGO network (Everyone’s Gliding Observatory) for international data share and public access. The scientific data transmitted can be visualized at the EGO web page

Socib dapp tracking application

The mission is part of a research proposed by CNR IAMC in Oristano (P.I. Mr Alberto Ribotti) to the First TNA call of JERICO.

The central part of the Algero-Provencal sub-basin, where the glider mission is going on, is a buffer area between the northern Provencal sub-basin and the southern Algerian one, and is mainly characterized by the presence and action of the Balearic Front (interactions between more recent MAW and MW).

The purpose of the research is contributing to understand exchanges through the two sub-basins and the complex interactions through eddies. The area of work covers a transect between Balearic Islands and Oristano (Sardinia) that the Group in Oristano, in collaboration with the Institute of Marine Sciences of CNR in La Spezia, is annually repeating with CTD and current-meter casts for the last ten years during oceanographic cruises to study the inter-annual variability of physical and biochemical properties of water masses and understand the circulation, the exchanges through the sub-basins and the transport of salt and heat in the western Mediterranean.

In particular, the proposed research wants to identify the physical properties of the surface and intermediate water masses between Baleares and Sardinia with the aim of:

i) study the variability of the physical properties of surface and intermediate water masses between the Algerian and the Provencal sub-basins;

ii) evaluate the transport of water, salt and heat through the area and verify if the interannual variability of the surface and intermediate water masses is due to climatic changes;

iii) validate the operational hydrodynamic numerical model of the western Mediterranean ( through the use of in-situ and satellite data.

by Simó Cusí(1), Alberto Ribotti(2), Antonio Olita(2), Miguel Martínez Ledesma(3), Simón Ruiz(3), Joaquin Tintore(1,3), Stefania Sparnocchia(4)


Android Mobile App for Sea Pollution

Screenshot of the Argo Sentinel App
Screenshot of the Argo Sentinel App

A new app for Android phones and tablets is opening up the notification of oil spills and sea pollution to the wider general public. The ‘ARGO Sentinel’ app allows users to notify an incident, follow what is happening and see other volunteers. It also links directly into Twitter and Facebook for updates thus unleashing the power of social networking into the arena of environmental monitoring.

The app has been designed by the National Institute for Research (CNR) in Pisa, Italy, and is funded thanks to an EU project. The alerts generated by it are sent to the closest monitoring outpost. Alarms can be classified as Urgent if immediate response is required, and thanks to the GPS tracking facility embedded in most smartphones and tablets today, the app will send the exact co-ordinates of where the issue is.

The app can be found and downloaded from GooglePlay. iPhone and iPad versions are in the pipeline and should be out soon.


MEDESS-4MS: A Mediterranean project tackling oil spill emergencies in the Mediterranean Sea

The Jessica wreck surrounded with antipollution booms (Source: Cedre)Although the Mediterranean Sea makes up less than 1% of the global marine surface, it sees 20% of the global tank ship maritime traffic. This traffic inevitably means numerous cases of oil pollution at sea, sometimes severe, not to mention pipeline or oil terminal accidents (EEA, 2006). The well-documented events of Prestige in 2002 and BP Deepwater Horizon in 2010 have widely and conclusively demonstrated that an efficient forecasting system is necessary in order to manage similar emergency situations.

The Mediterranean project MEDESS-4MS (Mediterranean Decision Support System for Marine Safety; is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the MED Programme for the period 2012-2015. In this project, the Department of Merchant Shipping (DMS) of Cyprus coordinates the activities of 20 partners from 7 Mediterranean countries plus REMPEC, among which the Italian Coast Guard (ITCG), the National Research Council (CNR) of Italy, and the International Ocean Institute – Malta Operational Center (IOI-MOC) at the University of Malta.

The main service delivered by MEDESS-4MS will be an integrated real time operational oil spill forecasting service for the Mediterranean for the national response agencies REMPEC and EMSA. The multi-model oil spill forecasting system is composed of environmental information from the GMES Marine Service and the national ocean forecasting systems interfaced with oil slick data from existing monitoring platforms from EMSA CSN, as well with AIS data. It will use real-time information about oil slick positioning and interface it with oil spill models which are capable of forecasting the movement of the pollution, thus providing tailored products to oil spill crisis management users. This will contribute substantially to maritime risks prevention and maritime safety.

Real-time view of ships and boats in the Mediterranean (
Real-time view of ships and boats in the Mediterranean (

The service will be accessible through a User Interface which will be made up of a web portal on which the MEDESS-4MS services will be made available. The system will be capable of being accessed by different user categories and will thus implement authentication services, profiling, management of customized contents and centralized administration.

Users will have the possibility of choosing the MEDESS-4MS oil spill model that best satisfies their local or sub-regional needs, and of selecting the necessary forcing data from the output of local, sub-regional and regional ocean and meteorological forecasting systems.

MEDESS-4MS Service Scenarios

The MEDESS-4MS services will be delivered through 3 service scenarios (SS), in order to assist operational response agencies:
SS1- Real time interactive oil spill predictions by the end-user request. An automatic system that will run after an oil spill alert from satellite data. This scenario will be used by selected authorized users (i.e. official agencies of Member States).
SS2-Delayed mode simulations by end-user request. In this solution, intended for the use of REMPEC and generic users, the UI provides the means to access the monitoring component, environmental data and model outputs and to receive integrated remote/in-situ data. The user will query the NDR Service to consult historical data for study or statistical purposes, and possibly query the NDR to back-trace data with the aim of identifying possible polluting ships.
SS3-Decision support system (DSS) to manage emergency operations. The services will consist of a DSS that will be an operational tool proposing a set of possible scenarios to the users, developed according to the foreseeable meteo-marine conditions and the possible on-site interventions. The DSS will then be used for oil spill crisis management and will be built upon a set of simulation functionality, launched by the UI to support the work of operational decision makers. This last SS also includes the work dedicated specifically to supporting REMPEC.

Partners have established the Emergency Response Office (ERO) to serve as the coordinating body for the MOON ERO experts who provide oil spill monitoring and forecasting bulletins, including meteo-oceanographic forecasts, to REMPEC to support it in emergencies operations management. The ERO system will be developed further in MEDESS4-MS and the ERO bulletin maker user-interface will be created to allow the system to automatically produce the ERO bulletin based on the input of the ERO experts.

References and links

EEA (European Environment Agency): Priority issues in the Mediterranean environment, EEA Report no. 4, 88 pp., 2006.
MEDESS-4MS site:



100 Cefas SmartBuoy deployments in the Thames

by Jo Foden, Cefas, UK

Fig1: Dave Sivyer, Cefas, UK
Fig1: Dave Sivyer, Cefas, UK

Scientists from the UK’s Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas) have just returned from a short survey on the RV Cefas Endeavour, during which they serviced a Cefas SmartBuoy ( at the Warp Anchorage site in the Thames.  SmartBuoys are autonomous, ‘intelligent’, automated, multi-parameter recording platforms used to collect marine environmental data.  This particular recovery was of the 100th deployment at this site, which has been active since November 2000.                                                                          

The Cefas team deploys buoys at key sites allaround the UK coast.  This particular buoy has been out for just over a month, which is normal for the season. In winter, SmartBuoys may be deployed for 10–12 weeks as the bio-fouling of optical sensors occurs more slowly during the winter months.

The instruments and sensors mounted below the waterline on the Warp SmartBuoy measure most of the parameters required for plankton growth, with light and nutrients being the most important. Complementary measurements of suspended solids and oxygen are made simultaneously. Above the waterline a navigation light, satellite and GPS aerials, radar reflector and a secondary satellite tracking unit are visible (Fig. 1).

SmartBuoys are moored in five key locations in the coastal waters of England and Wales, as part of work undertaken on behalf of Defra. The data are used in national and international assessments of water quality.  Every two hours the most recent data from all of these buoys are sent back to Cefas by satellite telemetry. They may subsequently be viewed online at Data are also used in satellite imagery validation and are sent to the EMECO observatory site ( where they are used to carry out assessments of marine environment for key policies, such as European Directives and international protocols (e.g. OSPAR).

SmartBuoy moorings, locations and deployment
SmartBuoy moorings, locations and deployment
SmartBuoy moorings, locations and deployment
SmartBuoy moorings, locations and deployment



Introducing the Baltic Sea portal

by Seppo Knuuttila

A great source of information about the Baltic Sea – its state, research, activities and more can be found at The site is multilingual in three languages (Finnish, Swedish and English). The portal is the fruit of a cooperation between the Finnish Environment Institute, the Finnish Meteorological Institute and the Ministry of Environment in Finland.         

A winter day on the Gulf of Finland


Within the site one can find several interesting sections.  Baltic Sea Now provides the latest available data collected in real time on waves, algae, ice and sea level. The Baltic Sea information section contains articles and reports collected since 1997, and is a veritable mine of material on hydrography, ice conditions, open sea, sea bottom, eutrophication, harmful substances and invasive species. Tips for improving coastal water conditions are found under the Protection section and the Research area has a variety of articles and links to several areas including the voyages of the two research vessels Aranda (open sea) and Muikku (large lakes). Recent events and news are to be found in the Current section which is updated frequently, thus ensuring that the information on the portal is never stale.

Finally there is also a great Gallery with videos, spectacular images and even live webcam feeds. An educational game for the young ones (and not so young) is available from the main page to add a more lighthearted area to the Baltic Sea portal.

European Maritime Day 2012

20 May – European Maritime Day

maritime day

Since the declaration in Strasbourg in 2008, every 20th May Europe comes together to celebrate the Maritime Day. The aim is to make people reflect on the importance of the sea in many aspects of our everyday life – whether for leisure, work, economy or transport.

maritimeeuA large conference for stakeholders is organized every year, and in 2012 this honour is given to Sweden – where the event will be held in the former shipyard area of Gothenburg. It will be split over three days with public events happening on the actual day, and then conferences and workshops on the 21st and 22nd. Interventions by politicians, industrialists and researchers will give a holistic panorama of the issues facing our seas today, and provide also space for people to air their views.

More information can be found on


The Titanic sailed 100 years ago

by Jo Foden, Cefas, UK

The RMS Titanic set sail from Southampton on her maiden voyage 100 years ago,  on 10th April 1912 (  Just five days later it famously hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean and sank, never reaching the destination of New York.  RMS Titanic was the largest floating man-made object at that time and was carrying 2,224 people.  Only 710 survived the disaster. 


There have been several events organised to mark the anniversary.  In Belfast, Northern Ireland, where the ship was built, the new ‘Titanic Belfast Exhibition Centre’ has been opened (  In Southampton, England, descendants of some of those who died on the RMS Titanic have thrown wreaths from the Southampton dock from where it departed.  A minute’s silence was observed in the city, which had been home to more than 500 of the crew who died.  Hundreds of children paraded through the streets, each holding pictures of the ship’s crew.  Halifax, Nova Scotia, is where many of the dead were buried.  Other events to mark the anniversary included a public seminar, a play, a film festival and a music tribute. 

To commemorate the occasion, a memorial cruise on the MS Balmoral set sail from Southampton at 3 pm on Sunday, April 8 2012, stopping off at the Irish port of Cobh (  It will retrace the route of the RMS Titanic, this time safely, all the way to New York.


Coral degradation due to acidification getting worse!

by Jo Foden, Cefas, UK

As carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere in increasing quantities, pH declines in the world’s oceans and the effects on coral reefs could be more harmful than previously thought. A study by Friedrich et al. (2012) looked at the effects of decreasing pH and carbonate ion concentrations, i.e. ocean acidification, on coral reefs. 

(A) "healthy" coral reef in the Great Barrier Reef with good water quality
(A) “healthy” coral reef in the Great Barrier Reef with good water quality

Since reef-building corals need carbonate to build their skeletons, decreasing carbonate ion concentrations will likely lead to weaker, more brittle coral skeletons and slower coral growth rates. Image B shows degradation of healthy coral by acidification. The authors of the study used three earth-system models using historical data and simulations of CO2 emissions to compare natural sources of CO2, such as seismic activity, with anthropogenic sources, similar to what happens with industrialisation.At present anthropogenic acidification already exceeds the level of natural variability by up to 30 times, on regional scales. The prediction is that by the end of the 21st century calcification by coral will be 40% lower than it was pre-industrialisation. 

(B) degraded coral reef in Western Australia with algae and poor water quality
(B) degraded coral reef in Western Australia with algae and poor water quality

Friedrich et al. (2012) show that at monitoring sites in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, the current rates of ocean acidification exceed those experienced during the last glacial termination (beginning 17,000 years ago), by up to two orders of magnitude.

References and links:

Friedrich, A. Timmermann, A. Abe-Ouchi, N. R. Bates, M. O. Chikamoto,M. J. Church, J. E. Dore, D. K. Gledhill, M. González-Dávila, M. Heinemann, T. Ilyina, J. H. Jungclaus, E. McLeod, A. Mouchet & J. M. Santana-Casiano (2012) Detecting regional anthropogenic trends in ocean acidification against natural variability. Nature Climate Change, doi:10.1038/nclimate1372.

New Issue of Science of Tsunami Hazards. 2012, Vol. 31, No 1 (MARCH 19, 2012)

The new 2012 issue of Tsunami Society’s Journal “SCIENCE OF TSUNAMI HAZARDS” is now available. This Certified, OPEN ACCESS Journal is included in the prestigious international academic journal database DOAJ maintained by the University of Lund in Sweden with the support of the European Union. “SCIENCE OF TSUNAMI HAZARDS” is also preserved and archived at the National Library, The Hague, NETHERLANDS and at the Library of Congress, Washington D.C., USA. Older issues are also archived at the US Los Alamos Laboratory Library. Furthermore, “SCIENCE OF TSUNAMI HAZARDS” is included in EBSCO and ELSEVIER Publishing databases, which give the journal additional global exposure and readership in the databases of 90% of the academic institutions worldwide, including nation-wide access to databases in more than 70 countries.

Tsunami Society International participates with DOAJ, the University of Lund in Sweden, the European Library at the Hague and European research libraries to help digitize all articles in “SCIENCE OF TSUNAMI HAZARDS” and make them searchable online with the submission of metadata. A great deal of time has been spent in this effort so that the visibility and usage of the articles included in the journal can be increased even more.                                                       

Furthermore, attention is called to the CALL FOR PAPERS for the 5th International Tsunami Symposium scheduled to be held on August 31 – September 1, 2012 in Davos, Switzerland – in conjunction with the Global Risk Forum’s IDRC – Davos 2012. The joint Symposium will be focusing primarily on (but not limited to) Tsunami Risk Analysis and Disaster Management. It will follow a Plenary Tsunami Session of the main GRF/4th International Disaster Risk Conference.

The Plenary Session is being organized by Tsunami Society International. Attending delegates will be introduced to the need for a holistic approach in coping and addressing also the array of tsunami risks facing vulnerable areas in all of the world’s oceans and seas. In view of the 2011 tsunami damage to the Fukuhima-Daichi nuclear power plant (NPP) in Japan, a special session to address the tsunami safety issues of NPPs and other critical facilities will also be included in the subsequent Symposium. Thus the deadline for submission of abstracts has been extended to June 30, 2012.

Finally, Tsunami Society International is a non-profit organization and its Journal “SCIENCE OF TSUNAMI HAZARDS” is highly recognized and maintained as an open-access scholarly publication to ensure maximum distribution and global readership. The organization depends on your membership or renewal of your membership to offset expenses and continue this work.

Tsunami Society

All recent and past issues of the journal can be viewed and downloaded from the Tsunami Society International Web Site. Because some of the individual files are large, both they and the Journal are provided in compressed form as well to facilitate speed of viewing and downloading.

Please visit the website at:


Can Real-Time Sea Floor Observations Alert Us To Earthquakes?

Subduction zones are described as the movement of the earth’s plates. When these collide the cold crust sinks and the other plate overlaps on top of it. For Geologists this simplified explanation is not enough; they suspect that the plates become locked together and later on after centuries spring back and create an earthquake.

The Pacific Northwest Cascadia fault is a subduction zone fault that stretches from mid-Vancouver Island to Northern California, capable of producing a 9 magnitude earthquake. This puts a number of States in danger since it causes a tsunami and at present no instrument is measuring its strain. The past shows that Cascadia’s last big event in 1700 was very similar to the March 2011 Japanese earthquake including a tsunami that travelled across the Pacific. This is proof that what is recorded onshore is not indicative of what is happening offshore hence the need of underwater sensors. In fact researchers started to install these sensors to find out more about the faults and get some information prior the hitting of an earthquake. However in March 2011, whilst ship KAIYO was installing the underwater seismic observations, an earthquake broke out in a different fault causing a lot of problems to the communities living on the coast. No one had thought that the Tohoku coast could generate such earthquakes. Part of the reason for this, is the lack of devices that could help in predicting these phenomena and diminishing some of the related disasters. However at present Japan has 50 observatories offshore compared to the 8,700 on land.

Susan Avery, WHOI president and director expects that real time data flowing from the fault will become more accurate to aid emergency response more readily. Hole, McGuire and Collins will work on installing tiltmeters at approximately 4 kilometres above the Cascadia subduction zone thrust interface. This will be located in a 300 metre deep borehole and will use an existing seafloor cable infrastructure, NEPTUNE Canada, enabling immediate access to data. The tiltmeter at Cascadia subduction should be up and running by summer 2013. According to McGuire this instrument will allow scientists to collaborate across disciplines as well as provide interesting borehole signals.


Calypso is watching


In Greek mythology, Calypso was the daughter of the titan Atlas (also known as Oceanus) and was a nymph living on the magical island of Ogygna. As referred to by Homer in ‘The Odyssey’, she seduced and imprisoned Odysseus on his journey home from the Trojan War, and promised him immortality if he would sojourn permanently with her in the cave. Some people are convinced that Ogygna is indeed the island of Gozo, within the Maltese archipelago, which consequently is also known as Calypso. Over Ramla bay, the most prominent sandy beach in the Maltese Islands, one finds Calypso’s cave, a complex labyrinth which was reputed to extend to sea level in places.

Times have changed, but perils still threaten the Mediterranean basin, although their nature is somewhat different from when Homer penned his masterpiece. The risk of oil from marine spillages beaching on shores, hitting important economic resources and causing irreversible environmental damage is a very realistic menace in the stretch of sea between Malta and Sicily. Especially in a small island state like Malta where economic assets are concentrated in space, the damage would be even more devastating. Risk is high because the islands are situated along the main shipping lanes of the Mediterranean Sea.

Risks can be highly minimised by using the best tools for surveillance, operational monitoring against pollution threats, as well as a capacity to respond with informed decisions in case of emergency. CALYPSO is a research project that intends to utilise a top-end technology, consisting of an array of High Frequency (HF) radars, to monitor in real-time meteo-marine surface conditions. Like the nymph Calypso, the HF Radars will vigilate on the stretch of sea extending from Malta to the Sicilian shores.

CALYPSO HF radar system for the Malta Channel
CALYPSO HF radar system for the Malta Channel

The project is partly financed by the EU European Regional Development Fund under the Operational Programme Italia-Malta 2007-2013, and co-ordinated by Prof. Aldo Drago from the Physical Oceanography Unit of the University of Malta. It brings together 3 other partners from Malta – namely Transport Malta, Civil Protection Department and Armed Forces of Malta – and 4 partners from Sicily – ARPA Sicilia, IAMC-CNR Capo Granitola, Universita’ degli Studi di Palermo (UNIPA) and Universita’ di Catania (CUTGANA). The consortium consists of research entities and also public entities with responsibilities for civil and environmental protection, surveillance, security and response to hazards.

The project will set up a permanent and fully operational HF radar observing system, capable of recording (in real-time with hourly updates) surface currents in the Malta Channel. The system consists of HF radar installations on the northern Malta and southern Sicilian shores. The radars are expected to be installed in summer this year, and the whole system will be operational by end of 2012.

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JERICO – Putting Coastal Observatories One Step Ahead

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JERICO is the result of the collaboration of twenty seven partners coming from seventeen European countries. JERICO is an FP7 project that takes advantage of the different backgrounds of the partners involved, who are contributing their invaluable and diverse experience and expertise when it comes to coastal observations that derive from the technology used for data collection though results and dissemination of informational material.

The operational monitoring of the coastal seas is an important issue when it comes to the health of the marine environment as well as in the provision of data for management of marine activities, research and a range of other applications. Despite the fact that Europe already has in general some good practices when it comes to the maintenance of marine observation systems and provision of quality data on a global and regional scale, coastal observations still lack the required standardisation due to the minor interest being expressed solely through short term projects which are usually adapted to the domestic interests of the distinct countries. This has brought up a number of issues within the research community which are now aiming to increase the consistency and sustainability of these scattered infrastructures by addressing them within a common pan-European context.

JERICO intends to support this idea of proposing a European approach for all the European coastal marine observatories by integrating existing infrastructures and technologies such as moorings, gliders and drifters into one single network. The activities intended to be held within the project will help the project participants to discuss common good practices to be used in this context when it comes to design, implementation, acquisition, maintenance and distribution of data from these coastal observatories, together with definitions of quality standards to be utilized within such a framework. The project also aims to open the European infrastructure for international research which will benefit the overall European contribution to climate change and other research areas.

Apart from the aim to amalgamate the current infrastructures, JERICO will also be looking for ways on how these can be improved. In fact, a number of joint researches will be organised to identify the new and upcoming technologies to be installed in the next generation of coastal observatories. Focus of the research will be on emerging technologies and on the biochemical section. JERICO will be using the data captured to be a major source of coastal data inputs while answering the needs of environmental researchers and managers.

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Euro-Mediterranean Conference 2012 on Research and Innovation

Barcelona 2-3 April 2012

euromedconfThe EU believes that research and innovation are key instruments in promoting sustainable economic growth and job creation. The Southern Mediterranean region called for innovative and ambitious responses from the European Union. The European Commission has established all Mediterranean countries as priority. The EC has also developed a new strategy which is found in two joint Communications of the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Hence the EU has developed the strategy named CKIS (Common Knowledge and Innovation Space) which is linked to Smart Growth and the EU’s innovation agenda.

Due to this the European Commission’s Research and Innovation DG together with other EU entities is holding a conference whose aims are:

  • Defining the aims and key factors of a medium to long term agenda of Euro-Mediterranean Cooperation in Research and Innovation based on the ideas of policy makers and scientists.
  • The promotion of collaboration between the European Commission, EU member states and South Mediterranean Policies and programmers to enhance the latter’s scientific competencies with the aim of benefiting the whole region.

The conference will host a number of representatives from different sectors of the EU entities and others from the countries concerned speak about the issue at hand.

For further information please visit the website: